Back in 2005, CBS passed on (then, unknown) screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s proposed horror-comedy TV series pilot Zombieland. The rest, as they say, is history, once Reese and Wernick retrofitted their script into a feature-length format, teaming with director Ruben Fleischer to produce the 2009 (semi-)cult hit movie of the same name.
A week ago, CBS released casting calls for the resurrected Zombieland TV series, with the duo behind the original concept returning as showrunners. However, we’re now hearing that Amazon has entered negotiations with Sony to make the series its first original scripted offering (and the first from a major studio).
Deadline is reporting that Amazon wants to acquire the Zombieland TV show for its streaming service, following the example of other alternative digital distributors that are joining the game of producing original content (see: Netflix and House of Cards). Of course, Zombieland‘s an especially appealing prospect, seeing how the show arrives complete with a built-in fanbase, popular brand and extra demand thanks to the sequel falling by the wayside (due to factors such as the increase in collective cast starpower, after the past few years).
Reese and Wernick are writing and executive producing the Zombieland TV series, with the movie’s producer Gavin Polone also committing to co-executive producer duties. As indicated before, there’s going to be recasting for the roles of Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), since all four characters are returning in the television spinoff. Meanwhile, what amounted to quirky tangents in the original movie – like the ‘Zombie Kill of the Week’ and Columbus’ rules for survival – are expected to return and should feel more at home in the weekly small-screen installments.
Lastly, the Zombieland TV show is subscribing to the growing trend where movie directors are recruited to oversee the pilot, following Jon Favreau handling the first episode on Eric Kripke’s Revolution, David Fincher tackling House of Cards and David Slade helming Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal pilot. Amazon is reported to be eying a straight-to-series order with Zombieland; nonetheless, the first episode is being directed by Eli Craig, a geek-favorite for his horror movie satire Tucker and Dale vs Evil (as well as a self-professed fan of Fleischer’s movie).
We’ll continue to keep you posted on the Zombieland TV show.