"Zombieland:" Writers Share Kevin Bacon, Jean-Claude Van Damme Pitches

In the latest version of "Zombieland Cameo That Never Was Theatre", Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese shared their script pitches online to actors who turned down offers to cameo for their 2009 hit for those suffering the Coronavirus Blues. The duo wrote for a number of actors in the off-chance any of them accepted. The list included Patrick Swayze, Mark Hamill, Sylvester Stallone, Dwayne Johnson, and Joe Pesci. The cameo ultimately went to Bill Murray for the film. Both posted their pitches to Kevin Bacon and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Jean-Claude Van Damme Kevin Bacon
L-R: Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins | Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

"Zombieland" Would-Be Cameos

To summarize the misses so far: the late Swayze couldn't accept due to illness. Stallone was gracious, but couldn't commit due to scheduling. Hamill flat refused. The premise all had a similar template. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Witchita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) appeared at cameo's house. The cameo's signature film appears in his personal theatre and someone plays from the film's soundtrack. Most often had the fictionalized version of the subject already turned to a zombie.

In the Murray cameo, the actor "blended" in disguise to pass himself as a zombie. After taking Tallahassee and Wichita by surprise, the actor revealed himself and the three re-enacted a scene from Ghostbusters with vacuum cleaners. Murray tried the same prank on Columbus and Little Rock as they're watching Ghostbusters to disastrous results. Columbus' itchy trigger finger shot the actor point-blank in the chest. The rest turned to comedy gold as Murray produced the hammiest and epic death scene on film.

As with previous pitches, the first draft altered some character names. Albuquerque, Flagstaff, and Stillwater were Tallahassee, Columbus, and Little Rock's original names, respectively.

Zombieland
953624 – ZOMBIELAND 2

Kevin Bacon's Cameo

Wernick posted Bacon's cameo on Twitter. Bacon never got to turn him down as his representatives did on his behalf. Suffice it to say. Tallahassee didn't fawn over Bacon as he did for Murray.

Jean-Claude Van Damme's Cameo

JCVD's appearance was lackluster, to say the least. Reese posted Van Damme's cameo.

Zombieland: Double Tap is available on digital and home release.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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