The Bill Murray Scene In ‘Zombieland’ Was Originally Written For A Different 80’s Icon

Columbia Pictures


Can you believe it’s been over a DECADE since the original Zombieland was released? In the time since, we’ve had two wildly different President, a cellular technological revolution, and the introduction of life-changing services such as Amazon Prime and Uber.

And yet — because Zombieland is essentially the equivalent of cinematic comfort food — something about it makes it feel as though it was just released last week.It was certainly ahead of its time in that sense, as the aggressively meta Bill Murray scene seems like a joke that was ripped out of 2020 humor.

According to the film’s screenwriter Paul Wernick, that Murray scene was originally written for another 1980’s movie icon, though: the late, great Patrick Swayze.

“Since we’re all currently living in #zombieland, [co-writer Rhett Reese] & I thought it’d be fun to take you behind the curtain, back to the early days,” the writer shared on Twitter. “The role Bill Murray played started in the original draft as Patrick Swayze. Patrick tragically got sick and we never had the [opportunity] to offer him the part. But we did WRITE IT.”

The filmmaker added that, in addition to Swayze and Murray, there were versions of the sequence that featured Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Mark Hamill, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Joe Pesci, Matthew McConaughey, and more. [via ComicBook]

If you’ve got nothing to do in the coming weeks — which I have a slight feeling in the case — the sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap, is certainly worth the watch. Now, to be clear, it’s no Godfather Part  II, but it’s an enjoyable, consumable sequel nonetheless.

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Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him eric@brobible.com

Eric Italiano Avatar
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him eric@brobible.com