It’s a busy time for Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. They were just announced as the screenwriters for the Micronauts film that Hasbro is developing with J.J. Abrams, and now the two are officially in the Zombieland fold once more. But this isn’t for that Zombieland sequel that most of the principals have been talking about ever since the first film turned into a surprise hit. There’s been a lot of doubt that a theatrical sequel would ever come together, thanks to difficulties with scheduling and the higher salary quotes for several of the actors.
Instead this is about a development that could put Zombieland where it will really be able to have fun: on television. (Which, if you’ve paid close attention to related interviews over the years, you might recall being the original home for the project before it ever turned into a theatrical feature.)
Vulture reported and THR confirmed that Fox and Sony Pictures Television are developing a “potential half-hour comedy” based on the film. That this announcement comes twenty-four hours after the massive ratings for the second-season premiere of The Walking Dead is no coincidence. American audiences seem to like zombie TV, and this is a property made for the medium.
Reese and Wernick would write, and the 2012-13 season is the theoretical airtime. If this happens, it would scuttle the proposed theatrical sequel. Vulture talked to producer Gavin Polone, who said,
The original plan for [Zombieland] was to make it as a TV show… but [CBS, which ordered a pilot in 2005] did what networks do, which is to take all the good stuff out.
The show never happened; the movie did. That would make this new development quite a fitting one. MTV has one of those older interviews about the movie, where the writers said,
We always thought [it should be a TV series]. If you watch the movie with that in mind, you will see some remnants of the television show. We have the ‘Zombie Kill of the Week,’ which was always intended to happen every week. The movie ends on a cliffhanger; it doesn’t have a real resolution.
The serial TV format offers obvious possibilities for other similar recurring ideas. While there’s no chance that the show would end up with any of the leads from the film in the main cast, various guest stars might be able to show up in living and/or dead format. (Maybe not guests as well-known as the movie’s big cameo; this budget isn’t likely to be very big.)