Strip away the superhero shenanigans and X-Men DNA and Deadpool is not too dissimilar to the Zombieland franchise. Hell, Wade Wilson is essentially a zombie thanks to his miraculous healing abilities.
The two franchises share another thing in common, too: screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who are partly to blame for Double Tap‘s long spell in development limbo. They were busy, of course, given Wernick and Reese have spent the past five years launching the Merc With a Mouth into the stratosphere, during which time Ryan Reynolds became an Internet favorite (if he wasn’t already) for his pitch-perfect performance as Deadpool.
And it turns out Reynolds almost had a cameo role in Zombieland: Double Tap a la Bill Murray. But, sadly, it wasn’t to be: Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have held their hands up to admit that they “let the opportunity slip through our fingers.”
Placing Ryan Reynolds opposite Woody Harrelson’s foul-mouthed Tallahassee would have resulted in some genuine belly laughs, so we’re somewhat disappointed to hear that Wernick and Reese let the opportunity pass. Nevertheless, this is the writing duo responsible for Deadpool’s ongoing cinematic success story, so we can’t exactly hold it against them.
As for the Easter eggs and meta references that did make the cut for Zombieland: Double Tap, director Ruben Fleischer recently pointed to The Walking Dead comic that can be seen in the hands of Colombus (Jesse Eisenberg).
Well, it’s funny because I actually read a ton of The Walking Dead prior to making Zombieland because it was one of the best examples of survivors living in a zombie post-apocalypse. I like the nod in that respect because I was actually reading it at that time to inform this movie. But, yeah, it felt like there had to be some acknowledgments given how it’s such a juggernaut of a show and definitely the most significant zombie property out there.
At just $63 million worldwide, Zombieland: Double Tap is unlikely to spawn a third movie anytime soon, but it still delivers exactly what it’s supposed to: a no-holds-barred adventure dripped with undead action.