‘Zombieland’ TV Show Back in Development; Casting Calls Released

Published 2 years ago by

zombieland tv show Zombieland TV Show Back in Development; Casting Calls Released

Gangster Squad director Ruben Fleisher continues to play down speculation about a sequel to his breakout hit Zombieland happening, but it appears as though a TV spinoff might be in the cards after all.

Reports about a Zombieland TV show – from screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick – surfaced back in Fall 2011, but the lack of updates since then pointed to the idea either being scrapped or stalled in development. That changed this week, as CBS is reported to have sent out casting calls for the pilot (note: previously, Fox was said to be working with Sony on the series).

io9 claims to have read through the script pages that are being used for casting purposes, meaning they may or may not reflect what to expect in the actual pilot (with regards to story beats and characters). Nonetheless, they offer an intriguing early look at how the Zombieland TV show may go above re-inventing the original movie’s characters, seeing how cast members Woody Harrelson (as Tallahassee), Jesse Eisenberg (Columbus), Emma Stone (Wichita) and Abigail Breslin (Little Rock) are pretty much guaranteed not to be reprising their roles.

[NOTE: The following may contain MILD SPOILERS.]

zombieland Zombieland TV Show Back in Development; Casting Calls Released

Here’s the site’s rundown of the Zombieland characters, as presented in the TV show pilot:

Tallahassee is still kind of a snarky weirdo, but he seems to have a much less spiky relationship with Columbus. He and Columbus have a pretty amusing thing where they riff on the fact that Steven Seagal movies always have three-word titles like “Marked for Justice” or “May Cause Diarrhea.” But Tallahassee also dispenses homespun wisdom about how to feel happy with your life. He also tells a weird story about being in a trailer park with a perpetually nude Matthew McConaughey. He also has a somewhat heartwarming scene where he tells Columbus that he’s been wandering aimlessly for a long time, but maybe he’s been put here for a reason — to help Columbus and the others.

Columbus is much the same, except that he tracks down his grandma and grandpa (Bubbie and Peepaw) only to find them recently zombiefied. Also, Columbus is trying to deal with his newfound relationship with Wichita, after their first kiss. He has started calling her “Krista,” her real name — but there are some problems, especially after she finds him reading a book about fatherhood. He tries to organize a romantic scavenger hunt for her in the IKEA they’re camping out in, but it goes kind of horribly.

Wichita is still trying to look after Little Rock, trying to teach her math with problems about someone stealing from a liquor store and jumping on a train going 42 miles per hour, with a cop chasing in a car going 88 miles per hour. We also learn a lot more about Wichita’s backstory, including how she ran away from her father after he had her stealing people’s Christmas presents — and later, she found out she had a sister who was also being a grifter with her dad.

Little Rock seems actually kind of excited about meeting Columbus’ grandparents, before they turn out to be zombies. And she shares some of her own backstory, about how her dad parked her at a school while he went off grifting on his own — and then yanked her out of school right before a dance that she was looking forward to.

There are a handful of supporting character roles being planned, but the gist is that CBS’ Zombieland TV show will revolve around the bond and family dynamic formed between Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita/Krista and Little Rock by the conclusion of Fleischer’s movie. It sounds as though Reese and Wernick are (basically) following their original blue-prints for a half-hour comedy series about modern life issues, as explored through the fantastical zombpocalypse backdrop.

CBS ordered, then rejected, their initial pilot script based on the concept in 2005. Of course, since the duo turned around and transformed the project into a movie – one that grossed $102 million in theaters worldwide (on a $24 million budget) and has since gained cult status – network heads have good reason to consider giving their idea another shot.

We’ll keep you posted on the Zombieland TV show.

Source: io9
Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Zombieland
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  1. I am really encouraged about this idea. Just hoping CBS’s writers respect the ideas and tones the movie portrayed. For example, those rules Columbus invented and valued while narrating that were floating all around the screen; “enjoy the little things” was floting around half brocken, just like the store they enjoyed wrecking and destroying, or the words “Limber up” were actually doing an exercice along with Columbus just before he went down in a ditch to explore an abandonned Little Debbie treats truck with Talahasee.

    • you mean hostess treats truck.. the distinction is important cuz hostess means twinkies which are pretty much Talahassee’s reason for existence.

      • Right. Thanks for the heads up. 😉

  2. A zombie sitcom> It’s so out there that it just might work. We don’t need another Walking Dead, so if they go the sitcom route, I could support this. But I think they should avoid using the same characters from the movie just in case a sequel happens or if the show takes off, perhaps the original movie cast could cameo. But, I’m not a TV executive so what do I know.

    • I agree when I heard about this I thought they would just use the same world not characters. Having different actors with same characters would kinda break it for me.

  3. inb4 the walking dead comparisons

  4. well.. its seems like zombies are the new vampires haha. this year alone we got wwz, warm bodies, more walking dead, now this show too! I’m totally down. Zombieland is one of my all time fave movies. Super funny/welldone show. A tv series, if they keep the same tone and humor, would be incredible.

  5. Yeah this wont work. Especially if it is on regular TV at a 30 min clip.

    The movie itself was subpar at best (IMO) and had way to many “why the heck would you do that” moments.

    A decent enough movie to just be left alone. No sequel, prequel, spinoff or TV series needed. Just let it be.

    • I wouldn’t say it was subpar. Although the fate of the cameo was phoned in. In fact, his whole part felt shoe-horned in. The ending felt like a string of horror movie cliches tied together in a coincidence. I liked it when I watched it, but I haven’t seen it since I first saw it. TO me, if it doesn’t earn multiple viewings, it doesn’t need a sequel or any further development.

      I can still pop in Tremors to this day and enjoy it all the way through. The sequels, nope. While it earned a sequel all it got was a typical Hollywood cash-grab, over bloated, limp-to-it’s-death franchise.

      Sorry If i don’t make any sense. Sicker than, well, any sequel to Tremors.

      • I’m gonna have to disagree with you guys on this one. The performances imo were great, Harrelson kills it, Eisenberg was great, Stone was the hottest she’d ever been, Breslin was hilarious, Bill Murray’s cameo was ingenious.

        Although the plot was completetly conventional and there weren’t many surprises to be had (except for the whole bill murray thing haha) the movie had a different premise with some fun action and humor that made it feel completely fresh.

        The 90% score on RT doesn’t hurt either :)

        With regards of it becoming a tv show that was actually the writers plan from the beginning, it just didn’t come together so they decided to make a movie instead.

  6. As a huge fan of “Zombieland”, I do not think this is a good idea at all.

    The first and most obvious reason is it won’t be the original cast. I think people responded to “Zombieland” so well because of the cast. Each actor/actress has their own original style of acting and that is what made them great. Now CBS is just pulling in people and saying “Okay, act like Emma Stone did in the movie”, or “Act like Woody Harrelson did”. It would never work.

    The other reason is the raunchy and explicit humor in the film. Granted, you can get away with a lot on TV these days, but not like the stuff the film’s characters talked about.

    Finally, I love Emma Stone and she cannot be replaced.

    If they do end up doing this, I hope they actually put some effort into it. Nobody wants the typical CBS humor (i.e. Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory).

    If anything, a sequel would be better.

  7. This can only work if the original writers are attached. If not and it’s a bunch of completely new writers then I don’t see this working. They also need to freedom to run the show as they see it fit. Finally they need a stellar cast. With all that done it just might work, LOL

  8. It all comes down to execution. Could be cool. Could be terrible. A little bummed that there won’t be a sequel.

  9. I wouldn’t say Zombies were played out yet. Reality shows, sitcoms about gay couples, dirty sitcoms – yes. I think a Zombieland TV show would be interesting.

  10. I don’t want a tv show, I want a movie. CBS passed on it already, it’s their loss. I want to see the original characters!! This sucks, people are too into the Walking Dead to watch this. Stick with the movies!!!

  11. I’d welcome a different take on the zombie genre on tv, we only have the one so far with Walking Dead and the tone it sets. Being the only game in town, WD has drawn a mixed and sometimes conflicting demographic, so maybe this thins out the vocal herd who finds its tone and pacing not to its liking, though, a more comedic zombie genre will have its detractor as well. You’d almost need one lighthearted, one bleak, and a hyper violent show to tackle core audiences that have developed over the decades.

    I wouldn’t expect the movie stars to star in the tv show for a number of reasons, so hopefully they find actors who can act, who don’t just look the part but can embody the characters, and have an understanding/respect of the material ~ show writers that includes you – respect the material even as you build upon it – no sudden motivational or personality shifts. And production, respect practical effects, they can make or break you. Get your rules down as you write the show bible.

  12. Okay, honestly since this is CBS I think this show is on the wrong network. The raunchiness would be too much since it’s network television. If they are going to do it I want CBS to personally to ship it to someone else like HBO. Then again I know it’s not gonna happen as it is really “dreamy”. So I have little confidence in this. It’s on the wrong network. SHIELD has the chance to work as it fits perfectly with family friendly mainstream. This only fits with an adult audience and it needs the raunchiness to work but it’s not going to happen as again it is network television. Sure you can get away with more these days but compare to network and cable it’s no match. I might sound stupid here but I don’t think you’re aloud to show a naked body on network tv. Cable does that all the time.

  13. Though it would be fun and is a chance to get myself out there and I thought the movie was funny

  14. I love to act I tink I will b perfect for this show