Director Ruben Fleischer has offered an update on the production of Zombieland 2. The film has been a long time coming, with fans highly anticipating a sequel ever since the original film hit screens back in 2009. Sony announced a release date for Zombieland 2 back in July, but details have remained scarce ever since. With production confirmed to begin in January, fans are hopeful that the sequel will indeed hit theaters in time to celebrate the original's tenth anniversary.
Zombieland starred Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus, a nerdy and socially-awkward loner attempting to make his way through the zombie apocalypse to his hometown. He ultimately crosses paths with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and her younger sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), forming with them a merry band of maladjusted misfits. The film proved to be a critical and commercial success. Making approximately $100 million at the worldwide box office, it was one of the most popular films of the year. Fans have been clamoring for a sequel ever since, with only an ill-fated TV version emerging to tide them over. Although writers Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick have been busy with the Deadpool franchise and Fleischer working on bringing Venom to life, a big screen sequel has been long in gestation.
At last word, the script was complete and the team was busy storyboarding and scouting locations in and around Georgia. Speaking at a press junket for Venom, Fleischer revealed exclusively to Screen Rant that production has moved even further forward. Here's what he had to say:
Yeah! I'm thrilled actually! We are in the middle right now of casting for the film. We're going to introduce a bunch of new characters, which is really cool and exciting. We obviously have the original four coming back (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin), which is a dream come true. We start shooting in January in Atlanta. I think I go there in like four weeks, which is crazy. It's nuts. I don't get a day off. I don't get any rest. It's all coming together in a really exciting way. The writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who have gone on to write both Deadpool films are returning. They're incredible. The script is amazing. The cast is the best there is and I just can't wait.
It was previously announced that the core four would reprise their roles from the original. Still, fans will no doubt be pleased to get further confirmation that it remains the case. News of new characters will also surely get fans speculating as to who will play them and how they could impact the plot. The original film was a fairly self-contained tale, offering a smaller, more close-knit take on the apocalyptic genre. The emergence of new characters, however, could lend credence to the rumors that the world will have expanded and evolved in the time since the first film.
Given his on-screen demise at the hands of Columbus, it's unlikely that Bill Murray will be among the cast to cameo as hilariously as he did in the original. Whether or not that means fans can expect another surprise celebrity cameo, however, remains to be seen. Despite various "leaks" spilling out over the last few months, Fleischer and co. are keeping things firmly under wraps. Whatever the case, though, new developments will no doubt emerge as filming ramps up. Until then, fans will merely have to wait as excitedly as Fleischer himself.
Zombieland 2 opens October 11, 2019.