Zombieland: Double Tap is still in theaters and fans of the first movie have been enjoying the trip back to that universe. Some fans may be surprised to hear that they just missed out on seeing a beloved actor pop up in their zombie adventure. A recent report from Deadline talks about how Ryan Reynolds almost shuffled on-screen during the sequel. The report indicates that early plans for the film included Reynolds playing the adversary of Woody Harrelson’s Tallahassee. Unfortunately for fans, Reynolds was quite busy with other projects and welcoming a new baby into the family. But, still the idea of him showing up in this kind of loose, fun-loving movie would have been a great time for audiences and the cast. Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese talked about “letting the opportunity slip through their fingers” as people who have worked extensively with Reynolds in the past.
There were plans for some other high-profile cameos as well. Early in Double Tap, Jesse Eisenberg’s Columbus is chilling and reading The Walking Dead issue #27. While that tale took place in 2006, it would have still come out before the apocalypse occurred in the film. Director Ruben Fletcher almost took the reference to another level. But, instead decided that the wink at fans who recognize the giant zombie series would appreciate it was enough.
"Well, it's funny because I actually read a ton of The Walking Dead prior to making Zombieland because it was one of the best examples of survivors living in a zombie post-apocalypse," Fleischer previously mentioned to Comicbook.com. "I like the nod in that respect because I was actually reading it at that time to inform this movie. But, yeah, it felt like there had to be some acknowledgments given how it's such a juggernaut of a show and definitely the most significant zombie property out there."
That particular book fit the parameters of Zombieland’s mythology. Fleischer also enjoyed the look of the cover and moved to include it. "I just loved that cover," He explained. "I thought it was really, really cool and so it was a good one to feature."
Zombieland included a massive Bill Murray cameo that attracted quite the buzz around the time of the original film. But, if some of the cast had their way, there would have been explicit cameos from AMC’s hit show.
"Emma [Stone] actually pitched that at one point during the development of the script," Fleischer began. "She thought it'd be funny if, as they were traveling through the post-apocalyptic landscape, they happen across some of the members of The Walking Dead and just in passing, which I think would've been really funny. Given that they shoot in Atlanta, as did we, it felt like it would have been not too hard to achieve, but it was just a hair to meta, winky wink, as to break the reality of our movie. But I always thought that would've been a funny scene, and I know fans would have appreciated it."