Zombieland was one of the freshest horror comedies of the past decade — and there were reports in late 2011 that it was going to become a TV show for CBS. Now, it looks like the Zombieland TV show is actually a real thing, because casting calls just went out yesterday for the show's main characters.
We got hold of some script pages that are being used for casting purposes — which may or may not be indicative of what the actual pilot will end up being like, since a lot will change between now and then. But they definitely give us a sense of how the TV show will reinvent the main characters and their backstory a bit. There are casting calls for the four major characters from the film (Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock) plus a couple minor characters.
Here's how the characters would be portrayed somewhat differently on TV:
Tallahassee is still kind of a snarky weirdo, but he seems to have a much less spiky relationship with Columbus. He and Columbus have a pretty amusing thing where they riff on the fact that Steven Seagal movies always have three-word titles like "Marked for Justice" or "May Cause Diarrhea." But Tallahassee also dispenses homespun wisdom about how to feel happy with your life. He also tells a weird story about being in a trailer park with a perpetually nude Matthew McConaughey. He also has a somewhat heartwarming scene where he tells Columbus that he's been wandering aimlessly for a long time, but maybe he's been put here for a reason — to help Columbus and the others.
Columbus is much the same, except that he tracks down his grandma and grandpa (Bubbie and Peepaw) only to find them recently zombiefied. Also, Columbus is trying to deal with his newfound relationship with Wichita, after their first kiss. He has started calling her "Krista," her real name — but there are some problems, especially after she finds him reading a book about fatherhood. He tries to organize a romantic scavenger hunt for her in the IKEA they're camping out in, but it goes kind of horribly.
Wichita is still trying to look after Little Rock, trying to teach her math with problems about someone stealing from a liquor store and jumping on a train going 42 miles per hour, with a cop chasing in a car going 88 miles per hour. We also learn a lot more about Wichita's backstory, including how she ran away from her father after he had her stealing people's Christmas presents — and later, she found out she had a sister who was also being a grifter with her dad.
Little Rock seems actually kind of excited about meeting Columbus' grandparents, before they turn out to be zombies. And she shares some of her own backstory, about how her dad parked her at a school while he went off grifting on his own — and then yanked her out of school right before a dance that she was looking forward to.
Fred and Ainsley are two office workers at the start of the zombie apocalypse, obliviously complaining about problems with their iPhones and getting the wrong order at Starbucks, which they admit are "first world problems" with a hashtag — while people are being disembowled just outside the window they're not facing. Tallahassee shows up to bring them their lunch orders, wearing a green polo shirt.
All in all, it's very much in keeping with the style of humor of the film — and more importantly, the characters feel much the same. And at the same time, it sounds as though moving the romance between Columbus and Wichita forward will be a major focus of the TV show, and the relationships among the four main characters will probably become a bit sweeter and more like a family as the show goes on. But as a half-hour comedy about zombies, it looks quite promising.