‘The Walking Dead’ Star Tom Payne Wants a Role in ‘Zombieland’ Sequel

Tom Payne is alive and well as martial artist Jesus on The Walking Dead, but the star hopes to see his reanimated corpse appear in the upcoming sequel to horror-comedy Zombieland.

“They’re doing Zombieland 2 right now, and I was like, ‘Oh!’” Payne told Producers Vs Show at New York Comic Con.

“You know, it would be kind of funny if I could have a couple of scenes in that and play a zombie walker or whatever. Because it’d just be an interesting kind of crossover thing. Maybe. I’d love to turn up in a little Easter egg in something.”

Payne, who starred in films like My Funny Valentine and MindGamers before boarding the long-running hit zombie drama in its sixth season, said he’s looking forward to returning to his film roots in the future — but remarked his long-haired Jesus look is “going to come off with a fight.”

“Honestly, like, I’m [on] Walking Dead right now and I kind of have to with the long hair and the beard, but I’d love to get back into film,” Payne said.

“I love the completed arc. Like episodic television is great and especially Walking Dead is amazing, but it’s nice to be on a project where you know your beginning, middle, and end, so I’m looking forward to maybe doing some more stuff like that.”

When appearing at Salt Lake City’s FanX convention last month, Payne admitted he “wasn’t very happy” about a Season Eight ending scene that saw his Jesus apparently conspiring with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) because the development “came out of the blue,” something Payne attributed to the series’ stars typically being kept in the dark on their characters’ futures.

“The thing about that is, we’re never really told in advance where the story is headed and or what’s gonna happen and how that will be resolved, et cetera et cetera, so I had to just say the words and hope that it was all going to work out well in the end,” Payne said.

Venom and Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer has already started work on the sequel, expected for an early 2019 shooting start with returning stars Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, and Woody Harrelson.

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The project, developed under the working title Zombieland Too, is again penned by Zombieland and Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Sony Pictures has staked an October 11, 2019 release date.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.