Production on the long-awaited Zombieland 2 is gathering pace, with filming reportedly set to begin in January 2019. Straddling the genres of comedy and horror, the original Zombieland brought together a strong cast of Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin and delighted fans and critics alike on its way to becoming the highest-grossing zombie movie in U.S. history at that point. Telling the story of four very different survivors in a zombie apocalypse, Zombieland placed a hilarious spin on many familiar zombie-genre tropes and won over audiences with a script full of genuine heart and fully-realized characters.
Unsurprisingly considering its success, calls for a sequel were immediate but almost a decade later, Zombieland 2 has yet to hit theaters. Initially, both cast and crew were enthusiastic about expanding the franchise but after failing to make progress, the situation began to look doubtful as Eisenberg and Stone's profiles increased, other projects arose and news of Zombieland 2 went quiet for a good few years. In 2016 however, original writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick announced that a sequel was actively being written and it has since been confirmed that the original cast will be reassembling along with director Ruben Fleischer. Sony has also set a release date of October 11, 2019 - roughly the 10th anniversary of the original Zombieland release.
According to reports from GWW, filming on Zombieland 2 is now set to begin on January 28 next year. Scenes are expected to be shot in Atlanta, as with the original, as well as Tennessee. The report also includes a synopsis that reads:
The group will face a new zombie threat as a new breed of zombie has developed. This new super-zombie type is faster, bigger, and stronger than the previous strain of zombies and harder to kill. These super-zombies have started grouping up into a horde going from city to city leaving a path of destruction behind them.
If the suggested January date proves accurate, the previously announced October release looks very achievable and it wouldn't be a surprise to see that date moved forward a week or too providing there aren't any significant reshoots needed. The date also ties in nicely with the end of filming on Woody Harrleson's Midway, giving the actor a nice Christmas break before returning to zombie apocalypse duty.
As for the synopsis, it certainly sounds as if the stakes will be raised considerably from the original Zombieland and the threat of a horde of super-undead roaming from city to city could see the starring quartet once again break Columbus' rule of "don't be a hero." However, it'll be very interesting to see how Zombieland 2 reacts to the popularization of the genre since the release of the original in 2009. The Walking Dead, World War Z and iZombie have all hit screens since the first Zombieland, arguably saturating the genre. Although this could make the sequel feel less original, it could also give it even more stereotypes to play with.
Zombieland 2 is set to premiere in theaters on October 11, 2019.