Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese tried really hard to have Ryan Reynolds play a part in Zombieland Double Tap. It just wasn't meant to be. Wernick and Reese worked with Reynolds on the first Deadpool movie and then the highly successful sequel, so they're all pretty tight. Originally, Reynolds was going to portray Luke Wilson's character, Albuquerque. "We made it a goal to do only Ryan Reynolds movies," Wernick said in a joking tone. "But this one slipped through our fingers. Luke was amazing and it worked out terrific for us."
Ryan Reynolds is an in-demand actor and had his hands full with a number of other projects and family obligations with a baby on the way. There's no doubt that he would've jumped on board Zombieland: Double Tap to work with his friends. With that being said, the man can't be everywhere at once and it was probably good for Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese to work with someone else.
A lot has changed since Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick introduced the world to Zombieland in 2009. Zombies are very much the thing to do in the entertainment industry these days. When asked if that bothered them at all, the writers revealed they weren't concerned at all with that factor when crafting Zombieland: Double Tap. Reese had this to say about the past and present of Zombies on the big and small screen.
"We think of zombies as a genre not a fad, so it doesn't scare us away. It's been around in a significant way for three or four decades so we're not worried that it's going anywhere. But In some ways, (the proliferation) does make it harder because you're trying to figure out ways that you can differentiate, even as a sequel and as comedy, from what's out there already and what people have seen before. For us that meant leaning into the idea of 10 years passing, and that the world is darker and more overgrown now, and that zombies have evolved and there's different types of zombies."
While they weren't concerned with Zombies being a bit of a fad currently, that doesn't mean that Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick didn't think about it while making Zombieland: Double Tap. Since Zombies are pretty much everywhere compared to when they did the first installment, it forced the writing duo to think about a new focus. And that focus all had to do with the human element. Reese explains.
"When you're in a genre, you keep staring at everyone around you and try to find the thing that will set you apart. So we have those moments but what we found is that the thing that sets Zombieland apart is the people. It's the people, and the characters. It's the hang-out factor. Do I want to hang out with these four people for an hour-and-a-half? We really focused on that and getting it right and making the zombies a little more incidental. They're the gravy this time around."
As for making more movies, Emma Stone has already joked about doing another one in ten years. Rhett Reese reveals, "Woody says he wants to make 10 more of these." Woody Harrelson has said that he loves the Zombieland franchise publicly more than once and one can tell he's having a lot of fun while watching the movie. "He has said more than once that he had more fun making the first film than he has on any other set in his career," says Reese. Maybe Ryan Reynolds will show up in part 3. The interview with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick was originally conducted by Deadline.