Emma Stone proposed a funny Zombieland: Double Tap/Walking Dead crossover, but sadly it never came to fruition. Ten years after the original Zombieland, the gang of Stone, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin and Jesse Eisenberg is back together for the long-awaited sequel. Joining the cast for Double Tap are newcomers Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson and Luke Wilson, as well as special guest stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Al Roker.
Of course, the zombie craze was just getting cranked up back in 2009 when the first Zombieland appeared and put its own unique comedic spin on the popular form, which at that point was epitomized by serious movies like Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later. A year later in 2010, the zombie wave arguably reached its zenith with the premiere of The Walking Dead, AMC’s series adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s comic book about the survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Though TWD covered much of the same ground as Zombieland, focusing on a group of survivors honing their zombie-killing skills while coming together as a family unit, the two stories could not have been more different in tone, with Zombieland going for wild comedy and satire, and TWD going for deadly-serious drama.
Despite TWD and Zombieland being miles apart in terms of tone, there was actually a moment when the makers of Zombieland: Double Tab considered a crossover between the two worlds. Speaking to Uproxx, Double Tap director Ruben Fleischer discussed star Stone’s idea for a meeting between the zombie killers of Zombieland and the survivors of TWD. He explained:
Emma had a funny idea that as our heroes are kind of making their way through the post-apocalyptic landscape, they come across, just in passing, some members of the cast of the Walking Dead. But we never were able to make that happen.
Though a full-on crossover never happened, Double Tap does feature an homage to the Walking Dead comics, which Fleischer thinks was a better “nod” to the TWD world than a literal meeting. Fleischer acknowledges that having the TWD cast show up might have been a little too “Scooby-Doo, like the Harlem Globetrotters showing up.”
Fleischer is probably right about not needing a full TWD/Zombieland crossover in order to acknowledge the importance of the TWD franchise, but nevertheless, it’s incredibly sad that the meeting never took place, as it would have been hilarious to see the Zombieland: Double Tap crew suddenly happen upon the TWD gang. Fans of both franchises can still imagine that they take place in the same universe though, and concoct their own incredible meet-ups between the two groups of survivors. No doubt, a meeting between Norman Reedus’ Daryl and Harrelson’s Tallahassee would be incredibly amusing. And it’s equally incredible to imagine how Stone’s Wichita would deal with Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s ever-menacing Negan.