There’s just something about a zombie apocalypse. It’s been less than two years since we last saw Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock in Zombieland: Double Tap, but fans are already looking ahead to a potential Zombieland 3.
Nothing has been made official just yet, but there have been more than enough teases about a third Zombieland movie. From what went down in the first Zombieland sequel to a possible plotline, HollywoodLife has rounded up the key information we know so far about Zombieland 3.
‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ Recap
Zombieland: Double Tap picks up 10 years after the events of the first film. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) are still alive and fighting zombies. They are still living in the White House, and Columbus is ready to propose to Wichita using the Hope Diamond. Now that’s one heck of a rock. However, Tallahassee and Columbus’ lives are turned upside down when Wichita and Little Rock suddenly disappear.
Columbus crosses paths with the ditzy Madison (Zoey Deutch), who managed to survive Zombieland by camping out in the freezer of a Pinkberry store. They went back to the White House and sleep together. Wichita returns and finds out about Columbus and Madison’s hookup. She comes back to reveal that Little Rock took off for Graceland with a man named Berkeley (Avan Jogia), and “super zombies” are on the loose. The crew heads to Graceland to find Little Rock.
The group arrives at Graceland and finds Tallahassee’s coveted vehicle “the Beast” at a nearby Elvis-themed motel that’s run by Nevada (Rosario Dawson). Tallahassee and Nevada hit it off bonding over the Elvis Presley. The group takes a trek to Babylon, a hippie commune, to find Little Rock. They face their biggest zombie horde yet. Just when Tallahassee is about to fall to the zombies, Little Rock saves him.
In the end, the zombies are defeated once again and the core four survives. Little Rock and Tallahassee make up, while Wichita and Columbus get engaged. The four of them depart Babylon with Nevada along for the ride. Little Rock breaks up with Berkeley, who winds up with Madison. The movie doesn’t end on a definitive note, so there are countless possibilities for how a third film could begin.
There is a mid-credits scene that features Bill Murray at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse in 2009 when he was promoting the fake movie Garfield 3: Flabby Tabby. TODAY weatherman Al Roker turns into a zombie in the middle of the interview. Bill kills the zombie versions of Grace Randolph and Lili Estefan before escaping. The post-credits scene is a hilarious outtake of Bill making the other actors break character when he coughs up a hairball.
Zombieland: Double Tap had a budget of $45 million. The movie was released on Oct. 18, 2019, and made nearly triple that at the box office with over $122 million. The sequel has a 69% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. The audience score is much higher at 88%. The sequel was deemed a success like the first movie. The first Zombieland made $102.4 million at the box office and has an 89% rating on the Tomatometer and 86% audience score.
Estimated Release Date
Since Zombieland 3 hasn’t been confirmed yet, there is no official release date. Zombieland: Double Tap was released in 2019, a full decade after the first Zombieland in 2009.
The idea of a third film has been tossed around, and director Ruben Fleischer revealed that Emma pitched the idea of Zombieland 3’s timeline. “We’d be really lucky to get to return to Zombieland,” Ruben told EW. “Although, I will say, Emma said, she thought it would be fun if we did one of these every 10 years. Knowing that Woody’s just the healthiest guy there is, he’s going to outlive all of us, and so we can just keep doing them every 10 years, ‘til the end of time.”
So if Zombieland 3 follows the lead of the first sequel, fans shouldn’t expect to see it until 2029. That’s a long time. Ruben also added, “I can’t imagine a better way to look forward to my future than knowing that every 10 years I get to hang out with those guys and make a movie with them again.” It all comes down to figuring out a good story to tell.
‘Zombieland 3’ Plot Line
Obviously, plot details have not been revealed just yet. However, Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick do have an idea of where the third movie could be set, and it’s all thanks to Woody. “We were in Atlanta shooting and it was cold and Woody [Harrelson] was like, we should do the next one on an island,” Paul told TheWrap in 2019. “Everyone was like, I love that idea. Standing in the cold in the middle of the night, somehow, island life sounded much better. But I was like, creatively, that’s not the best choice, but as of right now, that sounds like a pretty great idea.” Rhett added, “I think I got it: I think the cure to the zombie illness has to be Fiji water, so they have to go to Fiji!” Honestly, not a bad idea.
Ahead of the sequel’s release, Paul also said that Woody has expressed a desire to make more Zombieland movies. Woody’s down to make a whopping 10 more Zombieland movies. “I don’t know if 10 is in the cards, but maybe one,” Paul revealed to TheWrap. “We’re not thinking about it though, we’re just bracing ourselves for this weekend and keeping our fingers and toes crossed that it does well.”
Speculated New & Returning Cast
Woody, Jesse, Emma, and Abigail all returned for Zombieland: Double Tap. If we’re thinking about a third Zombieland movie, it wouldn’t make sense to do it without the core four reprising their roles as Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock. Since Nevada ended up joining the crew at the end of Zombieland: Double Tap, a third movie could feature Rosario’s return as well. As for Avan and Zoey coming back as Berkeley and Madison… anything is possible.
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Avan about his role in Zombieland: Double Tap. The role of Berkeley reunited Avan with producer Gavin Polone, who produced the ABC Family series Twisted that Avan starred in years ago. Avan opened up about embracing comedy in playing Berkeley. “It was really cool to work with them and riff off them,” Avan said. “I love comedy. Comedy is great. It’s very hard, though. It’s either funny or not funny, but I do like the environment of riffing with people and trying to create an environment for humor to come out of.”
Tallahassee and Columbus both meet their doppelgangers in Zombieland: Double Tap. They are played by Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch. When discussing the film for an Entertainment Weekly roundtable, Emma wanted to know who her doppelganger would be. Woody offered up Jennifer Lawrence, his co-star in the Hunger Games movies. Emma was totally OK with that. “Oh, yeah. That would be fun. That would be really. She’d be so funny,” Emma said. JLaw in Zombieland 3 would be epic.
In the years since between the first and second film, the main cast went on to star in some of the biggest films. Jesse starred as Mark Zuckerberg in the 2010 critically-acclaimed film The Social Network, which earned him his first Oscar nomination. He also starred in the hit movie Now You See Me and played Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Woody played Haymitch in the Hunger Games movies from 2012 to 2015. He notably starred in the first season of True Detective and earned an Emmy nomination. He received his third Oscar nomination for his role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in 2017.
Emma had her first leading role a year after Zombieland in Easy A. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. She played Gwen Stacy in two Amazing Spider-Man films. She was nominated for her first Oscar in 2015 and won an Oscar in 2017 for her performance in La La Land. She received a third Oscar nomination for The Favourite in 2018. Abigail was just 12 years old when she starred in Zombieland. Before returning for the sequel, she starred in films like August: Osage County, Ender’s Game, and more. She notably starred in the TV series Scream Queens as well.