Horror-comedy Zombieland: Double Tap is arriving in theaters on Oct. 18, a full decade after the release of the original Zombieland. Why did it take so long to reunite Jesse Eisenberg‘s Columbus, Emma Stone‘s Wichita, Woody Harrelson‘s Tallahassee, and Abigail Breslin‘s Little Rock in the undead-filled post-apocalypse?
“The easy answer is, I think we all wanted to stretch our legs a little bit and try different things,” says Ruben Fleischer, who directed both films. “I think we were all excited to do other stuff. But, the other thing is, we just couldn’t figure out the right story to tell. It took a minute to get a story that we all felt was worthy, to come back to Zombieland for. We all have so much love for the original. So, we held ourselves to a really high standard as far as making sure that, if we were going to make a sequel, that it be at least as good, if not better, than the original. And that ultimately all comes down to the script. So, we were all demanding and discerning to make sure the story was one that was worth getting the gang back together. Sometimes it does take time to get that right.”
Should Zombieland: Double Tap prove a hit, does Fleischer have hopes of making a third movie in the franchise? And, if so, is there any chance of seeing it before 2029?
“We have to see how this one’s received and if that’s something audiences would want,” says the director. “But I think we all had so much fun making this one, we’d be really lucky to get to return to Zombieland. Although, I will say, Emma said, she thought it would be fun if we did one of these every 10 years. Knowing that Woody’s just the healthiest guy there is, he’s going to outlive all of us, and so we can just keep doing them every 10 years, ‘til the end of time.”
That sounds like some weird horror-comedy version of a Richard Linklater project.
“Yeah,” says Fleischer. “I can’t imagine a better way to look forward to my future than knowing that every 10 years I get to hang out with those guys and make a movie with them again.”