Zombieland: Double Tap’s Emma Stone wanted to include a hilarious crossover with The Walking Dead in the sequel film. The first Zombieland movie was released in 2009; a year before The Walking Dead premiered on AMC so such a crossover wasn’t possible. But for the sequel film, actress Emma Stone thought the two zombie properties should finally cross over, as director Ruben Fleischer 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.
In addition to being an Oscar-winning actress, Emma Stone is also apparently a fountain of great ideas. The actress, who plays Wichita in Zombieland: Double Tap, wanted to see the cast of The Walking Dead show up in the long-awaited Zombieland sequel. Her idea was that as the foursome of heroes were traversing the zombie-infested landscape, they’d run into some familiar faces from The Walking Dead.
It’s a really fun idea because while there have been plenty of zombie movies over the years, the undead’s most prominent and enduring place in pop culture has been on the small screen with The Walking Dead. Therefore, many audiences would have totally gotten the joke. It would have been particularly funny because of the contrast between the two properties and how they depict life in a world where zombies have taken over.
The Walking Dead is a dour and brutal tale of survival, whereas Zombieland lets the jokes fly a mile a minute. Zombies aren’t even called zombies in The Walking Dead so I could totally imagine Tallahassee hearing someone call a zombie a ‘walker’ or ‘biter’ or whatever, and then scornfully correcting them.
It would have been fun to see the fourth wall being broken between these properties in this way. The possibilities are interesting too; would they have come across characters from The Walking Dead that are now deceased on the show, or the current cast? And given the MIA status of Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, seeing him show up in Zombieland would have been pretty funny. Also, a brief interaction between Daryl and Tallahassee feels necessary.
When asked if it was because The Walking Dead people said no, the director elaborated and explained why it might not have worked. Ruben Fleischer said:
No, it just never even became real. I just thought it was a funny, funny idea. But I think the comic book nod is probably a better acknowledgement. Might start to get a little Scooby-Doo, like the Harlem Globetrotters showing up.
The crossover between Zombieland: Double Tap and The Walking Dead suggested by Emma Stone was a funny idea that Ruben Fleisher liked, but it just never really materialized. He thinks it might be for the best as he worries that it could have gotten a little bit too meta. I would argue Zombieland is the kind of movie where fourth wall-breaking like that can work, but his point is well taken.
Even though you won’t be seeing Carol, Negan, Michonee, Daryl or any Walking Dead people in Zombieland: Double Tap, it sounds like the sequel film still managed to sneak a reference in in the form of a Walking Dead comic book. And hey, you can never say never. If we get a Zombieland 3 in another ten years, maybe this crossover can happen then. After all, The Walking Dead will probably still be on the air.
Zombieland: Double Tap arrives in theaters on October 18. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the biggest movies coming this fall.