It was reported early on that Zombieland Double Tap would feature a Ghostbusters reunion between Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. That didn't actually happen. Murray did show up in the post-credit scene. But it's not at all what the screenwriters had originally envisioned. Their original idea even included other Ghostbusters stars Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis.
Now, if you sit through the post-credit scene for Zombieland 2, you will be treated to Bill Murray and Al Roker discussing the fictional sequel Garfield 3. As legend has it, Bill Murray took the voice role in Garfield because he believed one of the Coen Brothers had written the script. He was contracted to do the sequel. And Murray often refers to it as one of his biggest regrets. Here he is, in the fictional Zombieland universe, going back to that franchise.
But screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were originally intent on including Murray's other, bigger franchise in this end credits moment. They wanted a scene that brought Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson all together. This idea was conceived before Harold Ramis had passed away, with Double Tap a sequel that has been a decade in the making.
When the writing duo first set out to write the sequel post-2009, they wanted to find a way to bring Murray back onto the mix that would have been bigger and better than the original surprise cameo. This despite the fact that fictional Bill Murray bit the big piss biscuit in the sky during that first outing. They conjured a post-credit flashback to the day the zombie apocalypse begins. Reese revealed this.
"Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson got Bill Murray out on a golf course and were trying to convince him to do a sequel to Ghostbusters. Dan Aykroyd becomes a zombie and attacks Bill and there are golf carts going in the lake and golf clubs being swung at people."
Joe Pesci was also going to be involved in this scene. But the whole idea no longer worked once 2018 rolled around. And the film actually entered production. Harold Ramis passed away in 2014. And an all-new Ghostbusters featuring an all-female cast of spook chasers hit theaters in 2016. Now, Jason Reitman has just wrapped another Ghostbusters movie featuring the original cast that will hit theaters in 2020. Reese goes onto say this.
"It was really fun, but then with the passage of time, with anything else, it had to be something else."
It has been made quite well know by Bill Murray himself that he hates Garfield. So the writers decided to jump on that idea and go for jokes there. Reese explains this about the post-credit scene, a part of which was revealed in a TV trailer in the lead-up to Zombieland: Double Tap's release in theaters this past weekend.
"Bill just clicked right in. Those actors know what it's like to go on a press junket and to suffer through a million questions and he definitely ran with that. Bill Murray had a lot of funny stuff that ended up on the cutting-room floor for time."
The two writers admit that some of these deleted scenes featuring Bill Murray may be included on the impending Blu-ray and digital release of the sequel. Zombieland: Double Tap is in theaters now. This interesting tidbit comes from The Hollywood Reporter.