Things are so grim now that a lot of people online have pointed out that we’re living in a version of Zombieland, the hit 2009 zombie comedy that yielded a sequel last year. Even the film’s writers have noticed. Scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have been taking to Twitter recently to reveal bits of trivia, specifically pertaining to the big celebrity cameo towards the end. While that role ultimately went to Bill Murray — who the writers never thought was an option — it was revealed last week that earlier versions of the script had Patrick Swayze as well as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Joe Pesci, Matthew McConaughey, and a slew of others, including Luke Sywalker himself Mark Hamill.
Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese dropped the Hamill news Monday, stating that the original plan involved an impromptu lightsaber battle with Woody Harrelson’s Tallahassee. Just like the Murray cameo in the theatrical release, the group of survivors — including Tallahassee, Jesse Eisenberg’s Columbus, Emma Stone’s Wichita, and Abigail Breslin’s Little Rock — break into a celebrity mansion to hide from the ongoing zombie invasion. But this time around, it’s loaded with Star Wars memorabilia, leading to a zombie Hamill reliving a classic trilogy moment before biting the big one. From IndieWire:
Flashforward to the present and Tallahassee and Little Rock are watching the original “Star Wars” in Hamill’s living room and Columbus is taking Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber off the wall and swinging it around. Wichita finds a stereo and when she turns it on John Williams’ “Star Wars” theme “cranks from the speakers.” Hamill eventually appears, but he’s “zombified” and “horrifying.” Zombie Hamill chases Columbus around the mansion while the other characters watch “Star Wars.” Hamill takes Darth Vader’s lightsaber from the wall and a fight breaks out. Just as Hamill is about to defeat Columbus, Tallahassee appears holding a Sand People gaffi stick. A duel breaks out between Tallahassee and Hamill that leaves the latter getting his hand cut off, just like in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Hamill dies after Tallahassee body slams him and his head slams into a concrete planter.
You can read the Hamill version of the Zombieland script below:
So a no-go on Swayze & @theslystallone. Our fearless leader @gavinpolone called: ‘Fire up the @hamillhimself draft.’ We would not be deterred. #BillMurray hadn’t yet been mentioned, for we would have never in our wildest imagination thought we could get him.
— Paul Wernick (@paulwernick) March 21, 2020