Video:Zombieland - Woody Harrelson and Ruben Fleischer Interviewswith Rebecca Murray
'Zombieland' star Woody Harrelson joined director Ruben Fleischer and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick at the film's premiere to chat up the horror comedy. Also on hand was Columbia Pictures President Matt Tolmach who guaranteed a sequel.See Transcript
Transcript:Zombieland - Woody Harrelson and Ruben Fleischer InterviewsRebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the premiere of Columbia Pictures' Zombieland.
Woody Harrelson – 'Tallahassee' in Zombieland
Woody, how freaky is it to have people in zombie make-up yelling your name?
Woody Harrelson: "Freaky. How have you been?"
I've been pretty good. How have you been?
Woody Harrelson: "Yeah. I've been good."
Tell me what the appeal of a zombie movie is for you, because it's so different.
Woody Harrelson: "Well, it's not the fact that it's a zombie movie. It's the fact that I read the script and just laughed a lot, and also loved the characters, so I had to do it."
Well how much character development does there get to be? Do we learn a lot about you guys before you go attack zombies?
Woody Harrelson: "Did you see it?"
Woody Harrelson: "Well, yeah, you know what? It's one of those things where you wouldn't think there'd be quite as much character development as there is. I think the writers are fantastic. I just think they really created this incredible story out of…I don't know. I don't know what inspired them, but I like it."
Zombieland Director Ruben Fleischer
Why do we still like zombies? What is this attraction?
Ruben Fleischer: "I think zombies are the undead, but they're also like the undead movie…I mean they are literally the undead…but they're like the undead movie monster. You can't kill them. They keep coming back both in reality as well as in films. But I think the challenge is to try something new with it every time because nobody wants to see the same old tired zombie movie again. And what we really tried to do in the writing of the script as well as in the execution of it, was to like bring a little life to it and make it exciting, and make it fresh and original which admittedly was hard to do with this genre. But hopefully when you see it you'll feel that we succeeded in that mission."
Because people also want the zombies that they know. They have to do certain things that zombies do, so you can't play with it too much.
Ruben Fleischer: "No, you have to work within the existing rules. I mean true zombie aficionados are aware of the slow zombie versus fast zombie argument. We have fast zombies which according to zombie purists don't even count as zombies; they are just infected people. But in our case, we went with fast zombies. We made them as ferocious and scary and gross and disgusting as possible."
Are you scared of zombies?
Ruben Fleischer: "I think I'm immune to them at this point. I've spent so much time around zombies in the last few months that I hardly bat an eyelid when I see a zombie these days."
But were there any moments on the set when you're like, "Okay, that one's just a little too freaky."?
Ruben Fleischer: "There were a lot of those because we were shooting in rural Georgia and so the extras that we cast brought their own special flavor to their zombie performance. But I think more than me was actually Abigail [Breslin] would get like really nervous. She's a 12 year old girl so seeing all these freaky people in makeup and scary and looming around like true zombies, she would get actually scared. She'd be like, 'Can we go this way?'"
So a sequel, is there going to be one?
Ruben Fleischer: "I pray to god. I'd be so thrilled to be a part of one."
You do want to do one?
Ruben Fleischer: "In a heartbeat, yeah. Like this movie's so good and was so fun to make, I'd be so excited."
[Columbia Pictures President Matt Tolmach shows up to greet Ruben]
Ruben Fleischer: "Yeah, no, it would be a dream come true. That's the president of Sony Pictures so let's get him involved and let's do this."
Zombieland Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
How did it start out as a TV show and make its way to a feature film?
Paul Wernick: "Interestingly it's just a wild, wild ride that never happens in Hollywood. We sold it as a spec TV pilot to CBS in the summer of 2005. Passion of a couple of executives at Sony, our producer Gavin Polone, Matt Tolmach and Sony Pictures and just a lot of people who believed in the script and believe in us."
And there it was.
Paul Wernick: "There it was."
On the big screen.
Paul Wernick: "On the big screen. Again, we wrote it as a TV pilot because we figured zombies have never been on TV and they've been so well-traveled on the feature side. And here we are…"
[Once again we're joined by Matt Tolmach]
Matt Tolmach: "I can't do this to this woman again."
Ruben said I can ask you a question, though. He said is there going to be a sequel?
Matt Tolmach: "Absolutely."
You guarantee that.
Matt Tolmach: "Absolutely, emphatically, starting right now. Yes. I'm not shy. We'll make the deal tonight."
Rhett Reese: "That's good to hear. That's a big moment for us right there."
So can you go back and put it on the small screen? Is there a possibility?
Rhett Reese: Well, actually at some point, sure. What we'd love to have happen is a multitude of theatrical sequels and then a television show. We figured, look, movies are based on a lot of different things - comic books, graphic novels, novels, old television shows, toys – so why not failed TV pilots? We figured we'd strike new ground in that arena."
You guys are doing Earth vs Moon too?
Paul Wernick: "We are."
Are you working on it now?
Paul Wernick: "We are."
How far are you?
Paul Wernick: "We're in it to a second draft and it's big and very different than Zombieland in tone. It's a big sci-fi epic war movie set in the future, and it's really, really fun."
Paul Wernick: "Venom. A couple of drafts of Venom and yeah, what a great character. We've just had such a joy writing him."
Can you take him places he hasn't gone prior?
Paul Wernick: "Venom? Absolutely. We can take him anywhere our imagination will lead us and Marvel and Sony will let us go."
And are they giving you free rein?
Paul Wernick: "They did. They gave us a lot of free rein to play in that world."