Zombieland: Double Tap
|Zombieland: Double Tap|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ruben Fleischer|
|Produced by||Gavin Polone|
|Music by||David Sardy|
|Edited by||Dirk Westervelt|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$122.8 million|
Zombieland: Double Tap is a 2019 American post-apocalyptic zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and David Callaham. A sequel to Zombieland (2009), it stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Emma Stone reprising their roles from the first film, alongside new cast members, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Avan Jogia, Luke Wilson, and Thomas Middleditch.
Talk of a Zombieland sequel began before the release of the first installment, with Reese and Wernick suggesting ideas and the cast voicing their desire to make a second film. By 2017, a script had been written, the cast were on board, and the film was confirmed in July 2018 by Sony Pictures. The four main stars and Fleischer all signed on that month, while additional cast members, including Dawson and Wilson, joined in early 2019. Filming took place from January to March 2019.
Zombieland: Double Tap was released in the United States on October 18, 2019, by Sony Pictures Releasing under its Columbia Pictures label. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $122 million worldwide.
Ten years after the events of the first film, survivors Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock have become experts in identifying and disposing of various zombies and set up their new home in the abandoned White House. Columbus decides to propose to Wichita using the Hope Diamond, while Tallahassee rebuffs Little Rock's hopes of starting her own family. The next morning, Tallahassee finds a note from Wichita and Little Rock, who have left due to Little Rock feeling Tallahassee still treats her like a child and Wichita's fear she is too attached to Columbus.
A month later, while exploring a mall, Columbus is startled by a ditzy blonde named Madison, who has survived Zombieland alone by hiding the majority of the time inside the freezer of a Pinkberry store. Madison quickly annoys Tallahassee, but Columbus invites her back to the White House, where the two have sex. Returning and discovering Columbus has slept with Madison, Wichita explains that Little Rock has left for Graceland with a pacifist from Berkeley, and informs the group of more agile and durable "super zombies." Fearing for Little Rock's safety, the group heads toward Graceland in a rundown minivan.
On the way they encounter one of the super-zombies that takes multiple gunshots to kill, leading Columbus to nickname it the "T-800" after the Terminator franchise. Madison shows signs of "zombification," forcing Columbus to lead her into the forest to shoot her. The group arrives at Graceland, but finds it in ruins, which greatly upsets Tallahassee who is a great admirer of the King. However, they discover "the Beast," Tallahassee's modified presidential limousine which was stolen by Little Rock, at a nearby Elvis-themed motel. The place is run by Nevada, who reveals Little Rock took another vehicle toward Babylon, a hippie commune. Bonding over their love of Elvis, Nevada and Tallahassee spend the night together.
The group awakens to find the Beast being crushed by a monster truck driven by Nevada's friends Albuquerque and Flagstaff, who strongly resemble Tallahassee and Columbus. Super zombies arrive, and Albuquerque and Flagstaff fight them alone, but get bitten, and turn into zombies, so the rest of the group kill them.
Heading out, the group finds Madison. She rejoins the group and explains that her nut allergy caused symptoms similar to zombification. Instead of shooting her, Columbus spared her in the forest. The group arrives at Babylon, give up their weapons, and find Little Rock. A satisfied Tallahassee departs, only to find a horde of super zombies attracted by the commune's fireworks and drives back to warn everybody. Left without guns, Tallahassee devises a plan to kill the zombies with exploding biodiesel and then have commune members, armed with barricade shields, corral the stragglers off of a skyscraper with himself as the bait.
The zombie horde is more massive than expected and the group is surrounded and almost overwhelmed. Luckily, Nevada arrives in Albuquerque's monster truck, rescuing the group, although the vehicle soon rolls over. Escaping upstairs, the survivors corral the zombies off the roof. Tallahassee uses a construction crane hook to dangle just out of reach, but the last two zombies seize his leg as they fall. Little Rock shoots them with a pistol given to her earlier by Tallahassee, rescuing him. The two reconcile and Wichita accepts Columbus' proposal of marriage. Little Rock breaks up with Berkeley, who hooks up with Madison. The original quartet leave Babylon, joined by Nevada. Columbus remarks that they have finally found their home in each other.
In a mid-credits scene, Bill Murray witnesses the start of the zombie outbreak in 2009 while promoting the fictional Garfield 3: Flabby Tabby, before making his escape while killing multiple zombies. In a post-credits scene, Murray is shown in an outtake causing the others to break character while he coughs up a hairball in his interview.
Continuing the rules from Zombieland, Columbus' list of 73 rules includes:
- "Ziploc bags"
- "Keep your hands to yourself"
- “Don’t be afraid to ask for help”
- "Wet naps"
Flagstaff's commandments or rules for staying alive:
- "Team work"
- "Confirm your kill"
- "The world is your bathroom"
- "Avoid perishables"
- "Expect the unexpected"
- "Warm up"
- "Cardiovascular fitness"
- "Mind your manners"
Tallahassee considers adding a rule of his own: "It takes a real man to drive a pink Cadillac"
Madison's rule for surviving Zombieland: "Mostly stay in the freezer."
- Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee, Columbus' trusted partner
- Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus, who survives thanks to a strict set of rules
- Emma Stone as Wichita, a hardened survivor who is reluctant to settle down with Columbus
- Abigail Breslin as Little Rock, Wichita's rebellious younger sister
- Rosario Dawson as Nevada, owner of an Elvis-themed motel
- Zoey Deutch as Madison, a dumb blonde
- Luke Wilson as Albuquerque, Flagstaff's partner whose personality mirrors Tallahassee
- Avan Jogia as Berkeley, a pacifist, whom Little Rock picks up
- Thomas Middleditch as Flagstaff, Albuquerque's partner who has his own set of commandments for survival, and whose personality mirrors Columbus’
After Zombieland's success, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick soon planned a possible sequel, with many more ideas they wanted to explore. "We would love it, and everybody involved creatively wants to do another one," Wernick said in 2009. "Woody Harrelson came up to us after the final cut of the last scene and gave us a hug and said, 'I've never wanted to do a sequel in the previous movies I've done until this one.'" Wernick said he wanted to have Jesse Eisenberg, Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin star again, with Ruben Fleischer returning as the director, and that the writers had "tons of new ideas swimming in their heads." Additionally, they wanted to make the comedy into an enduring franchise. "We would love to do several sequels," stated Wernick. "We would love to also see it on television. It would make a wonderful TV series." From this, they wrote a TV pilot, starring a different cast, released in April 2013 on Lovefilm and Amazon Video.
At the time of the first film's release, Reese and Wernick said they were not planning on an immediate sequel, due to being heavily involved with other writing projects. By November 2009, the original cast and director were all set to return, with Fleischer enthusiastic about the idea of making the sequel in 3D. In 2010, Fleischer stated that he was working on the screenplay, and the creators had begun searching for another "superstar cameo."
In July 2011, Eisenberg said that he was "not sure what's happening" with the sequel, but that the writers were working on Zombieland 2. He also expressed concern that a sequel would no longer be "relevant." Harrelson said that he was hesitant to return for a sequel as well, adding, "It's one thing to do it when it came out real good and it made a lot of people laugh, but then do a sequel? I don't know. I don't feel like a sequels guy."
In February 2016, the project was officially revived, with Reese and Wernick again set to write the script. In August 2016, Reese and Wernick confirmed that they were working on Zombieland 2 and meeting with Woody Harrelson to discuss the film, while stating "all the cast is pretty excited."
In March 2017, it was revealed that the script for Zombieland 2 had been completed, with Wernick and Reese stating:
It is [in active development]. We're trying to get it going. All of our cast have read the script and love it. Ruben Fleischer is signed on. It's just a matter of making our cast deals and making it for a budget number. All the cast have become superstars now so, we made Zombieland with 20 million, so it's trying to fit that financial model into the sequel model so it makes sense for the studio and being able to pay the actors what they now get paid and deserve to get paid. We see [film executive] Tom Rothman pretty frequently now and we're pestering that dude. He's like, 'Please, enough with the Zombieland talk!' We're pestering him the way we pestered Fox on Deadpool. We're not letting it go. We really want to see Zombieland 2.
In May 2018, Harrelson said that he hoped the film would be in production by early 2019, and that it would be released in time for the original's tenth anniversary.
On July 13, 2018, Zombieland: Double Tap was officially greenlit by Sony Pictures. Ruben Fleischer returned to direct while Eisenberg, Harrelson, Stone and Breslin reprised their roles. Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures, declared in a press release:
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. 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.
In November 2018, Zoey Deutch and Avan Jogia joined the cast. In December 2018, it was confirmed that Bill Murray would return for the sequel, once again playing the fictionalized version of himself. In January 2019, Rosario Dawson joined the cast of the film. Thomas Middleditch and Luke Wilson joined in February.
Filming began on January 19, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia. Primary production finished on March 15, 2019. The building used for the Babylon commune is located in Atlanta near the spaghetti junction. It was used for a hotel for many years, and is now abandoned.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and was projected to gross $25–30 million from 3,468 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $10.2 million on its first day, including $2.85 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $26.8 million, finishing third, behind Maleficent and Joker. It then dropped 56% in its second weekend to $11.8 million, finishing fourth, and made $7.4 million in its third weekend, finishing sixth.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 68% based on 234 reviews, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Zombieland: Double Tap makes up for a lack of fresh brains with an enjoyable reunion that recaptures the spirit of the original and adds a few fun twists." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, down from the "A-" received by the first film, while those surveyed at PostTrak gave it four out of five stars and a 64% "definite recommend."
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the performances, saying "They're all terrific, but Emma Stone in particular kills with a sharply honed, funny and endearing performance as the battle-tested and cynical Wichita, who is fearless when it comes to taking on zombies, but terrified when it comes to fully committing to a human connection." Simon Thompson at IGN also praises the acting, writing, "Zombieland: Double Tap is a riot, and a lot of that is due to Zoey Deutch and her character, Madison. While it doesn't quite achieve classic status in its own right, when it comes to sequels that do the original film justice, it is up there. It's worth the wait, your time and your money."
Kate Erbland of IndieWire gave the film a "C+", saying, "Zombieland: Double Tap still finds space for big laughs (the pairing of Eisenberg and Harrelson remains nutty and fun), a welcome cameo in the credits, and a banger of a final battle in which the body count soars to ridiculous numbers. But, after 10 years of anticipation, it would have been nice to see a zombie movie with more on its mind than the same goofy undead routine." Peter Debruge of Variety wrote, "The zombies have evolved[...] the comedy not so much," and, "Here, humor turns every kill into a sick punchline, and while the writers do a fine job of making them funny, like macabre cartoons in which Wile E. Coyote can rebound from unthinkable injuries, the movie’s tone negates a fundamental respect for human life. Yeah, yeah, it’s just a movie, you say. But like the first-person-shooter video games the film’s Double Tap title references, society can’t just passively sit back and accept an attitude that mocks pacifism and makes light of such extreme violence. Or else we’re the zombies, and the joke’s on us."
The film also inspired a twin-stick shooter video game titled Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip. Developed by High Voltage Software and published by GameMill Entertainment and Maximum Games in North America and Europe respectively, it was released on October 15, 2019, for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, three days before the film's US release.
Halloween Horror Nights
Director Ruben Fleischer stated, "I would love to do a Madison stand-alone movie."
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