As ironic as it sounds, the zombie genre is something that simply refuses to die. Reanimated corpses have existed as a cinematic mainstay for the last 50 years, with countless films using them to great (and gory) effect. However, 2009's Zombieland stands apart from the crowd for its inventive twist on genre conventions, and its endlessly charismatic cast. Thanks to a series of frustrating delays, fans have waited the better part of a decade to see this franchise come back. So what's the deal? Is the sequel ever going to happen? According to screenwriter Paul Wernick: yes, but they're still figuring out how to make it work financially. Wernick explained:
It is [in active development]. We're trying to get it going. All of our cast have read the script and love it. Reuben [Fleischer] is signed on. It's just a matter of making our cast deals and making it for a budget number. All the cast have become superstars now so, we made Zombieland with 20 million, so it's trying to fit that financial model into the sequel model so it makes sense for the studio and being able to pay the actors what they now get paid and deserve to be paid.
It's not difficult to understand Paul Wernick's comments to Comicbook.com when you consider the sheer amount of talent associated with the Zombieland franchise. Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, and Abigail Breslin are all big names in Hollywood, and Eisenberg and Stone have both gone on to become Oscar-nominated actors in the years since the first film debuted, with Stone recently taking home an Oscar for her work on La La Land. The cast and crew are all on board for the follow-up; now it's just a matter of figuring out the money for the project.
We certainly applaud the sequel for trying to keep the budget down (which seems to abide the Zombieland and Deadpool school of thought), but there is an option in place if the price of talent becomes too high for the Zombieland sequel to match. The first film makes it abundantly clear that other survivors are living in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, and as such, it wouldn't necessarily be entirely difficult for a new installment in the franchise to focus on a new group of survivors. After all, I would watch an entire movie devoted to Sister Cynthia Knickerbocker's piano dropping shenanigans.
That said, it would be hard to capture the same magic without this particular group of zombie killing badasses. Zombieland worked as well as it did because of the perfect balance of personalities in its story, so messing with that formula might not be in the sequel's best interest. Let's just hope that they can figure out this money situation as soon as possible so we don't have to wait any longer than we need to for Zombieland 2.
Stay tuned for more updates related to Zombieland 2. For now, make sure to check out our comprehensive movie premiere guide and fill out the rest of your 2017 moviegoing calendars accordingly!