Ever since Bill Murray appeared in the first Zombieland, and playing himself no less, fans were looking forward to more cameos in any potential Zombieland sequel. Since that sequel took 10 years, and many, many, drafts of scripts, to come to the screen, it turns out that a lot of different cameos were considered for the film, and one would have been Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.
There's a sequence in the new Zombieland: Double Tap in which the characters come into possession of an RV, but apparently, in an early draft of the script, it wasn't an RV, but the tour bus for the Rolling Stones. Inside the bus, the group found one of the Stones, apparently still alive. At least, he was, until our heroes showed up. According to co-writer Rhett Reese...
It was in Los Angeles outside the Staples Center and they saw it and they were like, 'Oh my God, we gotta get the Rolling Stones tour bus. So they went in there and I believe Keith Richards was alive and holed up, but they mistook him for a zombie and shot him.
Of course, this cameo does sound a little familiar. It's very similar to the situation in which the characters find Bill Murray in the original Zombieland. The actor is faking being a zombie in order to avoid becoming one for real. Eventually, Murray gets shot by Jesse Eisenberg's character when he thinks Murray is an actual zombie.
There would have been one key difference in this case however. In this cameo Keith Richards wouldn't be mistaken for a zombie because he dressed himself as one. Here, Keith Richards would have been mistaken for a zombie because he looked like Keith Richards. Co-writer Paul Wernick goes on...
He wasn't dressed as a zombie. He looked like himself.
While the "how in the world is Keith Richards still alive?" joke is an old one, it's also a joke that almost always works, so equating Richards to a zombie, and seeing the guitarist in on the joke would still be pretty funny.
Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese don't explain to Yahoo why this cameo was removed from the script. It's not clear if they found it to be unfeasible or if they just decided the idea wasn't as good as they thought.
There were clearly a lot of ideas involving celebrity cameos for the Zombieland sequel, many of them didn't work out for one reason or another.
Keith Richards has been willing to do movies before. He showed up in an equally self referential cameo in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise playing the father of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow. It was fitting since Depp had used Richards as inspiration for his character in the first place.
We'll have to wait and see if there's any opportunity for more Zombieland movies after this one finishes its box office run. If there is, perhaps even more cameo opportunities could open up.