Zombieland 2 Ghostbusters Reunion

Zombieland: Double Tap is in theaters now, bringing back Woody Harrelson, Jessie Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin for more zombie apocalypse action. It’s been 10 years since the original movie hit theaters, but writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (the duo behind the Deadpool franchise) were hired almost immediately to write the sequel. Since it took a decade to finally get this movie finished, the script went through plenty of changes as time passed, and one of those changes resulted in nixing a hilarious but tragic scene that would have given us a Ghostbusters reunion.

Beware, in order to discuss this scene in question, we’re providing a spoiler alert for a certain cameo made in the sequel. But if you saw the most recent theatrical trailer for Zombieland: Double Tap, then you already know what we’re talking about. Either way, you’ve been warned.

The Hollywood Reporter put out a video talking about the development of Zombieland: Double Tap and where the sequel leaves things for a possible future for the franchise. In the video, they talk about one of the big changes made to the original draft of the sequel that was written shortly after the first movie, and it involves the cameo made by Bill Murray.

Yes, Bill Murray has another cameo in Zombieland: Double Tap. But since he died in the first movie, thanks to a shotgun blast to the body in a prank gone wrong, his cameo in the sequel is a flashback. In the cameo, which plays during the credits, Bill Murray is partaking in press junket interviews for Garfield 3: Flabby Tabby, a sequel that doesn’t actually exist. After hilariously answering some questions in the expected Bill Murray fashion, he sits down with Al Roker from The Today Show. But the interview goes south qucikly when Roker suddenly turns into a zombie, and Murray is forced to thrash him with a chair.

However, Bill Murray’s cameo would have been much different and significantly more star-studded if the original draft was kept intact. The flashback scene still took us to the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, but instead, Murray was on a golf course with Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson, who are all trying to convince him to make Ghostbusters 3. But suddenly, each of Murray’s cast members start turning into zombies and Murray has to kill each and every one of them. That would have been hilarious!

Unfortunately, a long time passed between the first movie and the sequel, and in that time, not only have we lost Harold Ramis, but there has since been a Ghostbusters reboot, and there’s now a Ghostbusters sequel slated for release in 2020. So the scene just didn’t work as well with everything that has happened since the first draft was written.

The flashback scene in question also would have included another surprising cameo. Reese and Wernick told CinemaBlend that they had written Joe Pesci into the flashback scene. He would have been playing in front of the Ghostbusters crew, who would have hit their balls in his way because he was playing to slow. Pesci would have gotten really angry and hilarity would ensue.

In fact, Reese also revealed that Joe Pesci was initially offered the Bill Murray cameo in the first Zombieland. The writer recalled:

“We tried before and failed on the first. We tried to get Joe Pesci for the Bill Murray part in Zombieland. And the classic line… We pitched Joe Pesci’s agent before they’d read the script, and we said, ‘Well, it’s a small part.’ And Joe Pesci’s agent said, ‘There are no small parts, only small money.'”

That’s Hollywood for ya. And even though Reese and Wernick had a tough time getting Bill Murray lined up for that original cameo, I think everyone would agree that it worked out for the best. It also made it infinitely easier to get him to participate in the sequel. We’re just hoping that more of the footage from his time on set makes it to the Blu-ray release of Zombieland: Double Tap. Apparently they have hours of Bill Murray improvising with the various reporters (who were real press people), and that’s something we desperately want to see.

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