Sony Pictures has pulled off a feat that most had given up on in reuniting Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin for Zombieland 2. In 2009, Zombieland turned out to be a fairly low budget film that became a hit and then went on to solidify itself as a bit of a cult classic. Talks of a sequel have been kicked around for several years, but nothing materialized. Sometimes the idea was scuttled because of the talent side, and sometimes it was Sony, but this time it’s for real.
After Zombieland was released, the actors were mostly tied down to other projects. Jesse Eisenberg had Modern Family, the Now You See Me movies, and The Social Network, representing a mere handful of his projects. Abigail Breslin became a highly sought after actress, working on 21 projects since Zombieland, including Dirty Dancing, Enders Game, and Janie Jones. Woody Harrelson was kept busy with the Hunger Games series, True Detective, and Solo: A Star Wars Story, just to name a few. Emma Stone has gone on to be the highest paid woman in Hollywood thanks to successes such as La La Land and The Amazing Spider Man 2. Finding a way to get all that talent together at one time for a project has been a Herculean challenge, but Sony finally pulled it off.
Gavin Polone is returning as the producer, along with Ruben Fleischer as the director. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick who have enjoyed great success writing Deadpool, are returning to write the Zombieland 2 according to “The Hollywood Reporter”. Sony has gone all out to bring in all the players that made the original a success to do it again.
While the original only cost $24 million to make, bringing in $75 million domestically and over $100 million total, the sequel is expected to cost a lot more to put together. For one thing, everyone involved in the original costs a lot more to pay now. Details regarding exactly how much that budget might be increased have not been made public, but judging by Colombia Pictures President Sanford Panitch’s enthusiasm, it must be big.
“This is one of those projects that fans have wanted to see happen for a long time — and no one wanted to see it happen more than Emma, Woody, Jesse and Abigail. These are some of the most in-demand actors, and I think they are making this movie because they love these characters. We are thrilled Ruben was willing to come back to direct the sequel, as his work on Venom has been truly amazing.”
The film is said to be going for the same comedic feel as the first, with lots of mayhem, lots of zombies, and some new human survivors to meet. No potential release date has been given, but considering the talent involved, it is a good bet Sony will be aiming for one of the traditionally big opening days in 2020, possibly July 4 weekend.