While Deadpool is fresh in the minds of audiences and fans, Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were responsible for another beloved favorite in 2009's Zombieland.
The film about a ragtag group making their way through the zombie apocalypse contained a number of memorable moments, but few rank as high as the appearance of Bill Murray, who the four characters run into after camping out in his Holywood mansion.
Recently the writers joined Greg Grunberg and Kevin Smith on the set of Geeking Out to talk about Murray's hilarious role, but casting that part took much longer than anyone initially expected.
"He really did make the movie. We originally wrote that part for Patrick Swayze" said Reese. "Yeah, and Patrick got sick. We offered it to probably 12 other actors and every time we did we rewrote the script to make jokes specific to that actor. Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Bacon, Mark Hamill, and Jean-Claude Van Damme passed.
"Everyone said no," said Wernick.
Jean-Claude Van Damme passed and has subsequently said as we have heard it through the grapevine, that it is the biggest mistake he made in his career" Reese added.
"He's made some big mistakes in his carrer, so that's saying something" Wernick chimed in.
Reese continued. "We were two days away from shooting the scene. 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."
Kevin Smith then asked how one gets in touch with someone like Murray, which is actually quite a difficult task as it turns out.0comments
"He doesn't have an email address interestingly, no agent, no manager, it was Woody Harrelson that called him, his buddy," said Reese.
The two worked together on the set of Kingpin and ever since have remained in contact., much to the benefit of Reese and Wernick. It would be hard to imagine the film without Murray, but to find out how they closed the deal with the fan favorite actor, make sure to check out the full segment above.