I know not of Ruben Fleischer, the likely director of Columbia Pictures’ Zombieland. He could be a sensationally talented young man, a modestly talented middle-aged man, or a sensationally untalented octogenarian who arrived late to the directing game. I don’t care. Even if it’s the former, I fail to see the point in making another zombie comedy. After Return of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead and, subsequently, every other rip-off I’ve driven from memory (hopefully), it seems like a genre of diminishing returns.
The premise of this one sounds especially uninspired: "The Most Frightened Guy on Earth" corrals a group of survivors in the wake of some apocalyptic event which turns most of the world’s population into zombies. Somehow, the protagonist gets involved or runs across a funeral home that’s been turned into an attraction called "Zombieland". I’m sure Variety murdered the pitch in their story, but I can’t get my mind around how these basic elements could make even a passably enjoyable movie.
The screenplay is by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, both of whom are best known from their work on the reality show sorta-spoof, Joe Schmo. Again, not familiar with their work, so I’ll refrain from discounting this project altogether, but, man, this does not sound promising. Fleischer also hails from television (most notably Jimmy Kimmel Live), which makes me wonder why this isn’t a pilot. Oh, right.
Sony is pushing for an April start date. Gavin Polone will produce for Pariah Films.