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Ruben Fleischer on Zombieland

Published September 28, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Columbia Pictures
ZombielandZombieland
Clearly Zombieland is a humorous take on the zombie apocalypse. That doesn’t mean it’s lost its zombie edge. The undead are still full of gore, chewing on the flesh of the living, and our heroes still dispatch them in bloody ways.

Fleischer Directs Zombieland


“There is a fair bit of gore,” director Ruben Fleischer promised. “I would say it doesn’t distance you from the movie because it’s so gory, but there’s a sequence of rules that introduces the film, kind of the rules that Jesse’s character has learned to live by in this zombie apocalypse, and there was some gore for sure in that sequence.”

The zombie rules keep popping up throughout the film, literally appearing as text within the scene. “We tried to go with a non-traditional storytelling. The movie kind of jumps all over, and it’s driven by voice-over. When you’re going between these different worlds that are non-linear, it’s fun to come up with cool graphic or creative transitions between them. So hopefully people will appreciate some of the effort we’ve made to do that in the film.”

Another distinction between Zombieland and other zombie movies, or even other movies, is its cast of only four. “It’s definitely one of the smallest casts of any movie that’s been made recently.”



The one lead we didn’t get to talk to is Abigail Breslin. Fleischer spoke for her. “Abby also hadn’t shot a gun before and one of the first times I met her, I think the first day I met her, we went out to the gun range and I had a twelve year old shooting a shot gun and a rifle. It was really, really fun and she has some serious kills. She does a really good job.”

Zombieland is a road movie so Fleischer and the crew spent a lot of time on open highways, littered with wreckage. “The movie has a couple different parts. The ending’s at an amusement park, and so that part wasn’t on the open road, but the parts from when Jesse and Woody’s characters first meet is very much on an open road, and actually most of the movie takes place on the road. So, a lot of time was spent on the open roads of Georgia. For us, we got really lucky, because we had great cooperation from the state of Georgia, and they would shut down full highways for us, and allow us to dress them with hundreds of cars, broken down and backed up. We really tried to create a post-apocalyptic landscape in all the sets that we were in. Any exterior shooting presents its own challenges, but it was such veteran actors. I don’t think it was too hard to deal with.”

Zombieland opens to theaters on October 2nd.

For the trailers, posters, clips and more movie info, go to the Zombieland Movie Page.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Columbia Pictures
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