Having attended the world premiere at Fantastic Fest, I was positive Zombieland would be a word of mouth hit and the creative gang both behind and in front of the camera would surely be returning to their special post-apocalyptic world in no time. But, in retrospect, my experience was a little bit biased. While I think the movie holds up no matter when and where it's playing, showing Zombieland in a regal, old-school movie palace in front of a festival crowd that takes to zombies like Han Solo takes to a Tauntaun (yes, we often curl up inside the gooey, mushy embrace of the undead to keep warm on particularly cold horror winters), is more than hedging your bet; I can't imagine a better venue.

There were instant talks of sequels at the Q&A following the film, and all involved were clearly game, but then the film went on to be only a mild hit, and not the grandslam one would have expected from the crowd reactions at Fantastic Fest. What seemed like a lock seemed even shakier when Rhett Rheese, one half of the film's writing team, mentioned that Zombieland's stance as the most pirated movie currently on the net had put the future of the should-be franchise in jeopardy.

But all that worrying was for nothing, it turns out, as Sony has gone ahead and penciled in a trip back to Zombieland in their to do list. As of now, stars Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg are in talks to return, but director Ruben Fleischer and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have all signed on to further flesh out the comedic end of the world. And further out it shall be, as Sony has also confirmed that the untitlted part two will be filmed in 3D.
While I have no doubt that the principal trio that made the first film such a blast will come up with plenty of ways to embrace the extra dimension, as evidenced by producer Gavin Polone explaining that Zombieland is "clearly a film that will benefit from the technique", I can't help but assume that this is more of a financial decision than a creative one. It's a hell of a lot harder to pirate a movie with shifting perceptions of depth to it than it is a simple flat enterprise, so the obvious interpretation here is that Sony was more than a little burned by how rampantly the first film was pirated.

And in tangentially related news, Paramount has made a third Jackass film official. William Goss picked up on the proposed existence of Jackass 3D, but the studio denied any such plans. As with most things in Hollywood, however, things have changed and now sadomasochistic stunt work in 3D is officially official; and not too far off, either. Filming is set to begin on January 25th of 2010 with a release a few months later. There are no firm details on what kind of debauchery Johhny Knoxville and friends will be getting up to this time around, but if you're wondering whether or not the higher cost of filming in 3D is going to come with stricter studio mandates, I'd just take a glance over Variety's list of shooting locations: "Knob Lick, Kentucky, Mianus, Connecticut, Fukang, China, Buttzville, New Jersey and Gayville, South Dakota."

Yep, I'd say that about fits with what we've come to expect from the franchise.
categories Movies, Cinematical