A decade after Zombieland’s release, a sequel is finally arriving, titled Zombieland: Double Tap, but as entertaining as it looks, it's probably too late for it. Ruben Fleischer’s post-apocalyptic horror-comedy Zombieland was released in 2009 and became a big hit, both critically and commercially, even surpassing other zombie films like Dawn of the Dead and World War Z.
Zombieland followed Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) as he made his way through the zombie apocalypse, meeting three other survivors along the way: Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). Together, they went on a road trip to find a sanctuary free from zombies – and the last Twinkies on Earth, for Tallahassee. After a long gap, Zombieland 2 is finally a reality, but waiting 10 years to release it might have not been the wisest idea.
Zombieland was able to stand out from the crowd thanks to its big doses of humor, mainly coming from Tallahassee, and Columbus’ rules to survive the apocalypse. Zombieland arrived at the right time, when the zombie trend was just starting, which helped draw the attention of the audience. The biggest media product from the zombie subgenre in the last decade, The Walking Dead, arrived a year later. The series has had a number of ups and downs as enthusiasm for the zombie genre has shifted, and it's launched spin-off Fear The Walking Dead (with another TWD spin-off on the way), but interest in both show and genre peaked a good few years ago. That makes it a strange time for Zombieland 2 to be releasing.
Although it continues to be a commonly used theme in both films and TV shows, zombies don’t have the same impact (and value) they had 5-10 years ago. The Walking Dead has felt the effects of this, and Zombieland 2 releasing now is not ideal. The film hasn't had a lasting cultural impact, which means audiences are not as interested in or attached to the first film anymore, even if the sequel is arriving on the 10th anniversary of the original. Nostalgia is a major selling point for Hollywood studios, but there are few who appear to be truly nostalgic for Zombieland.
It’s yet to be seen if the cast of Zombieland 2 still has the same chemistry they had on the first film, especially given how the actors have aged and their carers have diverged, but it’s undeniable that the sequel should have been made and released years back, when the interest in zombie stories was still at its peak. Zombieland: Double Tap won’t revive the genre, but it will (hopefully) bring a good dose of humor, saving it from being ignored by an audience that is tired of watching zombies in films, television, comics, etc.
- Zombieland: Double Tap/Zombieland 2 (2019) release date: Oct 18, 2019