We haven’t heard much about the Zombieland television series since it was first announced back in 2011. In the wake of The Walking Dead’s success, CBS had a mind to create a zombie comedy based on Ruben Fleischer’s movie, but — as these things are wont to do — it floated around in development hell for awhile. Well, development has picked up again. In fact, according to I09, casting calls went out yesterday. I09 got a hold of some script pages, too, and while the four major characters (Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock) will return, their backstories have changed some, and a few minor characters have also been added. The romance between Columbus and Wichita will likely be a slower burn for television, and it’s likely that there will be a heartwarming family moment in each week’s half hour episode, because that’s the way network television rolls.
You can read character descriptions for all the characters over on I09, but here’s a taste of what Tallahassee (originally Woody Harrelson) and Wichita (originally Jessie Eisenberg) will be like, assuming the pilot goes into production and is picked up, a long shot, still, especially for a older-skewing network like CBS.
Tallahassee is still kind of a snarky weirdo, but he seems to have a much less spiky relationship with Columbus. He and Columbus have a pretty amusing thing where they riff on the fact that Steven Seagal movies always have three-word titles like “Marked for Justice” or “May Cause Diarrhea.” But Tallahassee also dispenses homespun wisdom about how to feel happy with your life. He also tells a weird story about being in a trailer park with a perpetually nude Matthew McConaughey. He also has a somewhat heartwarming scene where he tells Columbus that he’s been wandering aimlessly for a long time, but maybe he’s been put here for a reason — to help Columbus and the others.
Columbus is much the same, except that he tracks down his grandma and grandpa (Bubbie and Peepaw) only to find them recently zombiefied. Also, Columbus is trying to deal with his newfound relationship with Wichita, after their first kiss. He has started calling her “Krista,” her real name — but there are some problems, especially after she finds him reading a book about fatherhood. He tries to organize a romantic scavenger hunt for her in the IKEA they’re camping out in, but it goes kind of horribly.
Given the real-life friendship between Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, that McConaughey story is amusing, although that Steven Seagal joke seems kind of dated. My only hope is that the zombie clowns continue to play into the series.