All of the principal talent involved in the original will return for the sequel: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin – each an Oscar nominee, with Eisenberg, Stone and Harrelson earning nods post-Zombieland – will reprise their roles, with director Ruben Fleischer also back to helm Zombieland 2.
Zombieland screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who went on to pen the Deadpool film series, have already written the sequel’s screenplay, setting up a January 2019 production start and an October 2019 release. (However, Bill Murray – who had a jaw-dropping surprise cameo in the original – likely won’t be back, but the actor is starring in a Jim Jarmusch-directed zombie film.)
The original Zombieland, one of Rolling Stone‘s picks for the Best Zombie Movie, made over $100 million at the box office on a $24 million budget and gained a cult following on home media. However, despite a desire by all parties to revive the film, plans for the sequel have repeatedly stalled. In 2013, a Amazon-produced TV series based on Zombieland didn’t make it past the pilot stage.
“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,” Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter). “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.”