Zombieland Double Tap is finally here, after the breakout success of the original film which came out in 2009. It seems strange to wait a decade to make a sequel but as Jesse Eisenberg revealed during an interview with Jimmy Fallon, it was their work on Deadpool that prevented the original Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick from writing the sequel earlier.
"We waited 10 years to do the movie-we didn't wait. We were trying to do the movie right after the first one, cause the first one was so popular, and then we just couldn't like-we just waited for the best script. In the meantime, the two writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick did Deadpool and then we were kind of waiting for them to finish that, so they can write this... we're all waiting for the best script."
Considering they both used the same writers, you can tell Zombieland and Deadpool share the same comedic sensibilities, with a foundation of violent, absurdist humor and nihilistic approach to normalized social structure. While the first film used survivors trapped in a zombie-infested world to explore those themes, Deadpool used an immortal assassin trapped in a world of endless henchmen to do the same.
Reese and Wernick not only worked on Deadpool but also Life and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. In the meantime, the cast of Zombieland moved on to other projects. While Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg were up-and-coming actors during the time the original horror-comedy was made, today they are well-established stars. That is doubtless going to affect the dynamic of the new film.
According to reports, while Stone and Eisenberg are both Oscar-nominated actors today, with Stone even winning one, they always deferred to the authority of Woody Harrelson, who Rhett and Wernick both credit with getting the original film bankrolled and getting the writers back to work on the sequel after a few drafts by other writers were deemed not up to the mark by the cast, as Reese revealed in an interview with io9.
"Woody's a little bit of the elder statesman on this one. He's the reason this got made the first time. So I still felt like even 10 years later...look Emma Stone, Oscar-winner, but she was still very respectful of Woody and the idea was if Woody's not entirely happy it doesn't happen. Nor should it happen."
The new Zombieland explores the aftermath of the events of the first film. Now that the youngest member of the ragtag gang of survivors, Little Rock played by Abigail Breslin, is blossoming into womanhood, she is starting to get restless and rebellious. She eventually makes a break for it one day, leading the others on a cross-country chase after her, fighting a horde of the undead along the way, and doubtless learning a thing or two about family, and not holding on too tight to those you love. Time will tell if the sequel will be able to take its place alongside the original film in the hearts of fans. This news comes from Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show.