Zombieland: Double Tap is a 2019 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and David Callaham. A sequel to Zombieland (2009), it stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Emma Stone reprising their roles from the first film, alongside new cast members Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, and Luke Wilson.
Talk of a Zombieland sequel began before the release of the first installment, with Reese and Wernick suggesting ideas, and the cast voicing their desire to make a second film. However, the project languished in development hell for several years before finally being confirmed in July 2018. The four main stars and Fleischer all signed on that month, while additional cast members, including Dawson and Wilson, joined in early 2019. Filming took place from January to March 2019.
Zombieland made waves for its clever and very gory spin on the zombie apocalypse genre that didn’t take itself too seriously. It featured an uncommonly good cast: Woody Harrelson, who’d won an Emmy for Cheers in 1987; Abigail Breslin, who’d been nominated for an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine in 2007; and Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone, who’ve racked up multiple Oscar nominations between them in the years since (Eisenberg for The Social Network in 2011; Stone for Birdman in 2015, La La Land in 2017, and The Favourite in 2019).
The movie received mixed reviews, but became the fifth-highest-grossing comedy of the year — no small feat for an R-rated film — and Amazon even shot a pilot of a Zombieland TV show in 2013, though it wasn’t picked up to series. “Double tap” — the movie’s rule for making sure the zombie you just killed was definitely dead — was a catchphrase around my house for a while.
For four years after its release, Zombieland was the highest-grossing zombie-related movie in the US. (World War Z knocked it off its perch in 2013.) And though The Walking Dead premiered in 2010 and quickly became the gold standard for juggernaut zombie entertainment, if you prefer your zombie fare to be more comical than melodramatically gruesome (as I do), Zombieland is still a lot of fun in 2019.
And now watching its new sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap, is a little like escaping back into 2009, in more ways than one. As with most comedies, your mileage may vary wildly. It’s more of a celebration of its own existence than anything terribly fresh, but the jokes are solid and I laughed a lot, which I can’t say for most studio comedies of late. And the aspects that might raise your eyebrow, in a way, only contribute to the blast-from-the-past feel of it all.