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ZOMBIELAND

About The Film
Woody Harrelson recently chose to be a part of the award-winning cast of No Country for Old Men, which won the Oscar® for Best Picture. And he follows up that choice with a movie called Zombieland? The actor says that he was impressed by the script. "Tonally, it rides the line between comedy and the impending danger of the zombies. It's tricky – you have to keep up a level of reality, or it becomes farce, but that presents its own challenges.” Plus, the guy gets to kick zombie butt. What more could an actor ask for?

"I always saw Zombieland as Midnight Run with zombies,” says Ruben Fleischer, director of the film. "Like that movie, it crosses so many genres at once. First and foremost, it's a comedy, a road movie. It's obviously got a horror element to it, and there's romance as well. I was excited because of all the different aspects of the film, and my goal was to keep it grounded and strike just the right tone.”

Zombieland began with the original screenplay by Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese. "What attracted everybody to the project was the script,” says Fleischer. "It's so strong. And Rhett and Paul could not have been more collaborative while – and I respect them for this – staying true to their original vision.”

"It reminds me a bit of what we used to do on ‘Cheers,'” says Harrelson. "If a joke doesn't work, they figure something else out – right there, while we're shooting, they'd come up with some new, funny line.”

"We wore multiple hats out there,” says Reese. "One is the producer's hat – we were looking at the overall picture and making sure that the movie was coming together the way we envisioned it.”

"But there were various moments when lines had to change and we were writers again,” says Wernick, picking up the thread. "The sand shifts under your feet and you have to adjust. Seeing it all come together was a great experience – in a way, it was like film school for us.”

Harrelson takes on the role of Tallahassee, a man who dies hard and slays harder, a dude ready to slay any zombie that comes between him and the planet's last remaining Twinkies. "When I read the script, the first actor who came to mind was Woody Harrelson,” says Fleischer. "I saw elements in Tallahassee that reminded me of Woody's character in Natural Born Killers, but with a humor laced through it.”

"When I read the script, what I loved about Tallahassee was that he was a guy who essentially lost everything, so he has nothing left to lose, and as a result, he's fearless when it comes to his approach to the zombies,” says Harrelson. "After a great meeting with Ruben, I was eager to be a part of it.”

"We had all seen No Country for Old Men around the time we began the casting process,” recalls Gavin Polone, "and Woody just popped off of the screen. He was always our first choice.”

"Tallahassee is childlike, impulsive,” says screenwriter and executive producer Rhett Reese. "It made such sense to us that the Twinkie would be his greatest desire: it's a metaphor for the past, a piece of his former life, something he clings to – we all cling to things from our childhood, but he's clinging to something from the pre-apocalyptic days. Plus, it stays fresh on the shelf for a quite a while.”

For the role of Columbus, Fleischer also had a specific actor in mind. "There are a lot of talented young actors who we considered, but Jesse Eisenberg was always at the top of my list,” says the director. "I had loved him in Roger Dodger and in meeting with him, he displayed an innate humor and sensitivity. He's intrinsically funny, and his body language makes you believe he's the biggest coward in the world. He was Columbus.” 

"I loved the character when I read it,” says Eisenberg. "I could certainly relate to Columbus' obsessive-compulsiveness; he's the type of guy who can't let himse

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