Zombieland: Double Tap took an entire decade to make it to the big screen after the release of Zombieland - so can we expect a similar wait for Zombieland 3? The sequel reunited director Ruben Fleischer, screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin for another ride through post-apocalyptic America, and leaves the ending open for the story to continue.
The original Zombieland was a modest box office success, grossing a little over $100 million worldwide with a $23 million production budget, and being warmly received by critics and zombie fans alike. Ten years (and a failed TV pilot) later, Zombieland: Double Tap got off to a near-identical start as the first movie, with a $26 million opening weekend. So, while Sony may not be eagerly fast-tracking another sequel, the numbers are good enough to warrant making Zombieland 3.
A draft for Zombieland 2 was produced almost immediately after the first movie was released, but Fleischer told Entertainment Weekly that it "wasn't the right kind of follow-up." This led to the sequel being shelved for years while Reese and Wernick focused all of their creative attention on Deadpool. Will there be a similar decade-long wait for Zombieland 3, or could things start lurching forward a little faster this time around? Here's what we know.
Zombieland's Director Has An Idea For Zombieland 3's Story
Asked by MovieWeb if he had anything in mind for a third Zombieland movie, Fleischer noted that the first two movies were structurally similar, and that it would be "exciting" to explore some other parts of the world. He joked that, rather than shooting another film in chilly Atlanta, Zombieland 3 could take place somewhere with slightly nicer weather:
"Let's imagine the movie beginning with them all getting off a boat and landing someplace and seeing what that's like. You know, just not shooting me in Atlanta again. Hawaii sounds nice this time of year... nights in February in Atlanta are really cold. I wouldn't be made to see what's going on in Turks and Caicos. What their zombie virus was."
Screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are also a fan of this idea. Speaking to TheWrap, Wernick noted that it was Woody Harrelson who, during the cold Atlanta shoot, first suggested making the next movie on an island. The writers joked that the cure for the zombie virus could be Fiji water, so that they could have an excuse to go to Fiji and also build the movie around product placement.
Zombieland: Double Tap Leaves the Ending Open For a Sequel
Ten years of surviving in Zombieland have made Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita and Little Rock pretty adept at surviving, and after a massive final zombie fight they all make it out alive - this time with Rosario Dawson's Nevada as part of the group as well. Zombieland: Double Tap ends with them all driving off into the sunset in Elvis Presley's car, leaving the future completely open for more wild, zombie-fuelled adventures. To make matters even more interesting, Double Tap introduced a new breed of super-zombies that have evolved to be stronger and smarter than the rest, so over time the zombies could continue to evolve in interesting ways.
Zombieland 3's Release Date
Even if it was fast-tracked by Sony, Zombieland 3 likely wouldn't arrive in theaters before 2021 at the earliest - and given the middling box office, the studio will likely be happy to sit and wait until the cast and creative team start pushing for a sequel again. The actors have joked in interviews about making Zombieland 3 in another decade, and given their various commitments to other projects it may actually take that long for everyone to get on the same page again. We'll update this page if there's any further concrete news about Zombieland 3, and its potential release date.