Last week brought the reveal from Zombieland scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese that before Bill Murray had signed on to cameo in the film they had considered options with a ton of other celebrities instead. Alternate versions of the film had been written with the likes of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Joe Pesci, Matthew McConaughey, Patrick Swayze, and more in the part, and the official script pages of these cameos that might have been have been revealed by the screenwriters including alternate versions featuring Sylvester Stallone and Mark Hamill! You can read them in full below!
After all these other cameos failed to happen, Bill Murray signed on to appear in the film. Co-writer Rhett Reese previously revealed that Murray signed on only days before the scene was set to be shot and came to be thanks to Harrelson's friendship with the actor in the years since shooting Kingpin together.
"We were two days away from shooting the scene," Rheese detailed back in 2016. "We had written an alternate scene with no celebrity, where they just fought a bunch of zombies in this mansion. Paul, to his great credit, doesn't like to take no for an answer, walked up to Woody Harrelson on the set and said Woody, anyone else, do you have any other ideas? He said two guys. He said Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray, and we were like yes, and yes. But Dustin Hoffman couldn't do it, but Bill Murray said send me the script."
The future of the Zombieland franchise is uncertain for now. Though it took ten years for the sequel Zombieland: Double tap to arrive, the movie did go on to out-gross its predecessor at the global box office. Reese and Wernick previously proposed a Zombieland Broadway musical as a way to extend the series but for now we'll have these alternate versions of the original film to hold us over.
(H/T Bloody Disgusting)
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Stallone's schedule prevented him
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
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The Hamill Awakens
So we used the force. And got a forceful fuck no. #zombieland— Paul Wernick (@paulwernick) March 21, 2020
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P.S. Note the Luke-Princess Leia joke, which we later repurposed for Deadpool 2.— Paul Wernick (@paulwernick) March 21, 2020