An alleged test screening of Zombieland 2 has been canceled. The sequel to 2009's Zombieland is supposed to hit theaters in October 2019 (though that hasn't been confirmed by Sony Pictures yet), which makes a screening this far in advance sounds suspicious, to say the least. While Zombieland came out amidst Hollywood's zombie renaissance, it took a much more lighthearted approach to things, part of which included a surprise cameo by Bill Murray as a fake zombie.
In addition to being praised by critics and audiences alike, Zombieland ended up grossing around $100 million at the worldwide box office, more than four times its budget, which is why fans have been wondering when a sequel would release. However, an ill-fated TV adaptation by Amazon in 2013 made the film's sequel potential look quite bleak. But still, there was hope - and it looks like the studio is finally giving fans what they want. A Zombieland sequel was hinted at by the film's original writers, who indicated that it will release next year. It's unclear if Ruben Fleischer will return to direct the sequel, but original stars Jessie Eisenberg (Columbus), Woody Harrelson (Tallahassee), Emma Stone (Wichita), and Abigail Breslin (Little Rock) are all expected back. But a new report may suggest that the sequel has already been filmed.
According to Bloody Disgusting, a Zombieland 2 test screening was supposed to take place on Thursday, June 7, at Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26 & IMAX. While test screenings are meant to be private functions, news about the screening spread online today, thus prompting the studio to suddenly cancel the screening altogether.
What's interesting is that the test screening was for Zombieland 2: Double Tap, which means that the rumored title, Zombieland, Too, is not in fact the sequel's official title. Given that Columbus' second rule in the first movie as The Double Tap (meaning to always shoot a zombie twice in the head), it makes sense that Double Tap would be the sequel's title, which lends a little bit of credence to the test screening leak.
The thing is, Zombieland 2 was supposed to film in 2016, but things didn't work out, and Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Rheese only recently revealed that the that the script wasn't completed until last month. While the movie is supposed to release in October 2019, according to the film's writers, in order to commemorate the first movie's 10th anniversary, this reported test screening would indicate that Sony Pictures has already filmed the sequel in secret. If that's the case, then it's possible that a screening 16 months beforehand was to gauge audience's initial reaction before heading back into reshoots or pick-up shoots.
While Zombieland 2 is still likely to happen, this news is a bit out of the norm. Given the timeline, it's possible that this was all a big stunt that backfired. Again, it's unclear what's happening behind the scenes on this project, but the studio may have something to share as we get closer to San Diego Comic-Con next month.
Source: Bloody Disgusting