Zombieland: Double Tap didn’t make much noise at the box office last year, but 2009’s Zombieland remains a reliable watch, with one of the best cameos in recent history. Spoiler alert for a movie that came out 11 years ago, but while mansion in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and Wichita (Emma Stone) meet Bill Murray… who Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) promptly murders with a shotgun, incorrectly assuming that the Ghostbusters star had been turned into a zombie.
But in the original script, it wasn’t Murray who gets killed — it was Patrick Swayze.
“Since we’re all currently living in #zombieland, [Rhett Reese] & I thought it’d be fun to take you behind the curtain, back to the early days,” Zombieland co-writer Paul Wernick tweeted. “The role Bill Murray played started in the original draft as Patrick Swayze. Patrick tragically got sick and we never had the opp to offer him the part. But we did WRITE IT.” Wernick and Reese also wrote drafts for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Mark Hamill, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Joe Pesci, Matthew McConaughey among others, and they’ve been sharing the scripts on Twitter.
Here’s the one for Swayze:
And another for Stallone:
As promised yesterday by @paulwernick, this is our @TheSlyStallone version of what ultimately turned out to be Bill Murray's sequence in 'Zombieland.' We sent this to Mr. Stallone… but his schedule / better judgment thwarted our plans. Tomorrow, the @HamillHimself version…
— Rhett Reese (@RhettReese) March 20, 2020
Oh well. At least we got that Garfield joke with Murray.