By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 18, 2011 at 1:03AM
Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese Penning 'Micronauts' For J.J. Abrams To Produce
This is a bit of a good news, bad news situation, but for fans of "Zombieland," at the very least it ensures that there is more undead killing comedy in your future.
While talk of a "Zombieland 2" has been tossed around for a while now, it looks like the franchise will continue on the small screen instead. Vulture reports that writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have developed a half-hour TV version of the movie. Moreover, this isn't some pie-in-the-sky project, as talks are underway with Fox and Sony Pictures Television to bring it to the airwaves for the 2012-3 season. If this seems like a smaller-scaled compromise versus getting a new movie in front of cameras, guess again, as apparently this project was first conceived as a TV series years ago.
"The original plan for this was to make it as a TV show," producer Gavin Polone told Vulture. It was set up over at CBS in 2005 but of course, "they did what networks do, which is to take all the good stuff out." The idea was tossed over to SyFy who were unable to find a workable budget, but everything worked out in the end, as the 2009 movie was made and became a smash hit. But even in the big screen adventure, there were kernels of the television incarnation present.
“If you watch the movie with that in mind, you will see some remnants of the television show. We have the ‘Zombie Kill of the Week,’ which was always intended to happen every week. The movie ends on a cliffhanger; it doesn’t have a real resolution," Reese told MTV earlier this years. "[The movie’s ending] is just our guys driving off into the sunset for some new adventures. That’s because that’s how the television pilot ended.”
However, if everything works out with the TV show, you can forget about a tentpole-sized followup hitting your local multiplex, with Polone saying, "If the TV show goes, then the sequel won't happen." But honestly, that's not much of a surprise.
While they have been open to talking about it, both the cast members and the director have always been cagey about doing "Zombieland 2." This year alone, Woody Harrelson said he wasn't sold on the idea, Jesse Eisenberg expressed doubt about it happening and even director Ruben Fleischer revealed his own reservations about coming back for another round. With "The Walking Dead" a huge success for AMC, now is as good a time as any for the networks to try and get some competitive fare on the air. And with "Zombieland" bringing in an already established audience and "mythology" (for lack of a better word), it seems like a no brainer (ha!) to get rolling. But this is just one project keeping Wernick and Reese busy.
As you might remember, it was just yesterday that Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner confirmed that "Micronauts" is very much in the works with J.J. Abrams producing. Now Deadline reports that Wernick and Reese have been tasked to write it. It's essentially a smaller version of "Transformers" for all intents and purposes, so it's kind of an obvious choice for blockbuster material, even though we couldn't care less about it. But perhaps Wernick and Reese will actually bring some kind of inventive angle to the potential franchise. Guess we'll see.