Considering tomorrow is the five year anniversary of the release of Zombieland, it's actually pretty fitting that this news breaks now: According to Deadline, Sony Pictures has begun fast-tracking a long-awaited sequel to 2009's Zombieland , after the attempt at an Amazon Prime television series based on the film failed to attract audiences (not to mention, y'know, quality writing and plotlines) and was cancelled last year. It is being reported that Dave Callaham of The Expendables has been hired to write the script, and original director Ruben Fleischer will return to helm this project as well.
This is amazingly exciting news. Zombieland was released just on the cusp of the media's obsession shifting between vampires and zombies, and it's arguably one of the best zombie films there is: From its classic zombie film influences (the entire carnival scene at the end is clearly reminiscent of the 1980 film Incubo Sulla Cittá Contaminata starring Hugo Stiglitz, for instance) to its surprise Bill Murray cameo, it got zombie films right, and managed to walk the thin line between fun and campy, a feat that so many modern monster movies can't manage to accomplish.
There's no word on if the original cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin, that is) would be returning to reprise their roles, but hopefully they do — the chemistry between them all was pretty undeniable in the first film, so it'd be sad to lose the core group. In fact, I think there's a lot they could do with this sequel concept if they brought back the core four cast members:
Focus the plot on the world trying to recover from this zombie attack, a là the end of Shaun of the Dead:
Zombieland has already taken influences from other films, and Shaun of the Dead is another classic that would be perfect to draw inspiration from. My biggest regret about that film has always been that we never got to see more of the world after the government was able to somewhat rehabilitate zombies into "productive" — albeit, braindead — members of society, so perhaps Zombieland 2 could focus on some interesting storylines could be born of that idea.
Even better, just cross the whole thing over with a Shaun of the Dead sequel too! Hybrid sequel!
Have the group lose one of their own, like Little Rock (Breslin), in an attempt to be reminiscent of the "Sophia's lost" plotline from season 2 of The Walking Dead...
...then completely turn the storyline upside down when Little Rock is actually completely capable of taking care of herself in the face of danger.
Seriously: I couldn't have been the only one who was more than annoyed at the amount of time The Walking Dead season 2 spent on the mystery of where Sophia went — only to reveal she was zombiefied the entire time she was missing.
A much better plot twist would have been to reveal that she'd gone all badass zombie killer on her own because a survival of the fittest switch went off in her brain — but I guess something like that would be better suited for a character like Little Rock anyway.
Have the group meet up with this badass lady
Because seriously. She's the kind of fierce/badass worthy of her own Nicki Minaj rap verse.