We waited an entire decade but Zombieland Double Tap finally hits theaters this weekend. The long-awaited sequel to its 2009 predecessor has been years in the making, so maybe it's a bit early to start this discussion, but what about Zombieland 3? While it remains to be seen if, or when, a full trilogy will end up happening, director Ruben Fleischer has some ideas regarding where he'd like to take things, given the opportunity.
I recently had the chance to speak with Ruben Fleischer in honor of Zombieland: Double Tap. Previously, several members of the cast and Fleischer had joked about coming back every ten years to do one of these. I asked him if he would try to keep the same formula intact for a third movie, or if he would try and break the mold a bit. Here's what Fleischer had to say about it.
"I wouldn't want to begin to project, but yeah. Tonally, I think this one's very similar to the first. I think conceptually it has a lot of distinction. The whole idea of meeting other survivors was cool, but one idea that was brought up that I think would be cool is seeing what's going on in other parts of the world, which would be exciting for me.
Let's imagine the movie beginning with them all getting off a boat and landing someplace and seeing what that's like. You know, just not shooting me in Atlanta again. Hawaii sounds nice this time of year... nights in February in Atlanta are really cold. I wouldn't be made to see what's going on in Turks and Caicos. What they're zombie virus was."
While not fully a spoiler, it's worth saying that yes, Zombieland: Double Tap does largely share a lot tonally and structurally with 2009's Zombieland. However, the idea of seeing the gang of survivors we've been following makes their way to a remote island in the hopes that the virus would be easier to irradicate? Or maybe because it never made it there at all? That's an interesting thought. It's also one that has been explored a bit before in the zombie genre, with the ending of Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake coming to mind.
The main point is that this would certainly be venturing into new territory. Presumably, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrellson and Abigail Breslin would be into the idea. They've all seemed rather happy to be revisiting this franchise and their desire to see a sequel happen is largely what kept the idea alive over the last several years.
Much of this will depend on whether or not the sequel is a success. Tracking for the opening weekend box office is solid and critics have been pretty kind to it thus far. As long as it doesn't crash and burn in the weeks to come, who knows? Maybe we'll see Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita and Little Rock back together again for Zombieland 3 in 2029. In the meantime, Zombieland: Double Tap is in theaters this weekend from Sony Pictures.