After shambling through development for almost 10 years, Zombieland 2 is finally on its way.
EW has learned that Sony Pictures will reunite the formidable cast of its 2009 horror-comedy hit — including Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin — with original Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer for the much-anticipated sequel.
There have been stops and starts throughout the process but this time Sony says it’s a done deal. Zombieland 2 is set to roll cameras in January for a planned October release next year, which will find the film heading into theaters just in time to mark the first’s 10th anniversary.
The first film’s writers — Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (in-demand scribes who’ve since penned both Deadpool movies) — wrote the script for this sequel and will serve as executive-producers, with Gavin Polone again producing.
Story details are scarce, but Zombieland 2 will find the makeshift family formed by the end of the first installment facing new challenges from “evolved” zombies as well as some human survivors, all the while dealing with their own group’s internal issues. Sony hasn’t confirmed a budget, but The Hollywood Reporter (which originally reported the news) notes it’s almost definitely higher than that of Zombieland, which was made for under $24 million and grossed more than four times that worldwide.
“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,” said Sanford Panitch, Columbia Pictures’ president, in a statement. “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.”
Reuniting the Zombieland cast is no small feat for Sony, given how considerably each star’s stature has grown since the last movie. All four stars are now Oscar nominees, with Stone having won gold in 2017 for her starring role in La La Land. For his part, Fleischer — 10 years on from making his directorial debut on Zombieland — has remained an in-demand director, most recently having helmed Venom for Sony.