This Twinkie thing ain’t over yet: Zombieland 2 is finally happening!
Fans can now breathe a sigh of relief and excitement as The Hollywood Reporter brings word that the long-awaited Zombieland 2 will finally come to fruition with all four original cast members returning. Production is set to begin in January 2019 with a release date scheduled for October 2019, just in time for the 10th anniversary of the original film.
Director Ruben Fleischer and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were all put on the map following the success, with Fleischer helming the most recent entry into Sony’s first Spider-Man spinoff Venom, and Rheese and Wernick going on to help bring the Deadpool franchise to life for Fox, and all of them will be returning to the director’s and writers’ chairs for the sequel.
The film will also feature the return of stars Woody Harrelson (Solo: A Star Wars Story), Jesse Eisenberg (Now You See Me), Emma Stone (La La Land) and Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens), which may raise the budget to above $24 million this time, especially given Stone’s Oscar win La La Land, Harrelson’s nomination for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Eisenberg’s nomination for The Social Network.
While Sony didn’t comment on the increased budget to THR, Columbia President Sanford Panitch said in a statement that they are thrilled to have Fleischer returning to the director’s chair and that of all the people who wanted to see the sequel come to light, it was the four stars.
“These are some of the most in-demand actors and I think they are making this movie because they love these characters,” Panitch said.
The original followed four strangers who meet on the road in the middle of the zombie apocalypse and, while initially at each other’s throats, they soon come to bond with each other and form a close-bonded group. Harrelson played the violent cowboy Tallahassee, Eisenberg played geeky Columbus, with Stone and Breslin playing crafty sisters Wichita and Little Rock, all characters named after the locations they are heading to.
Zombieland came out in 2009 and quickly became one of the most talked-about and acclaimed hits for the zombie genre, with critics and audiences praising it for its intelligent humor, gleeful gore, self-aware nature and the minor ensemble’s fantastic chemistry. The film was also a commercial hit, grossing over $100 million globally off of a $24 million budget, as well as earning over $55 million on home media as of 2015.