Zombieland

It can be easy to forget that Chris Hardwick isn’t the only white, male nerd in AMC’s stable, what with his being recruited for virtually every after-show the network produces. But Kevin Smith’s also set up comic-shop in the same environs—first with his reality series Comic Book Men, then on his all-new, somewhat-different pop culture show Geeking Out. The Yoga Hosers director co-hosts the latter with Heroes alum Greg Grunberg, and each episode features them showing the requisite amounts of enthusiasm over their favorite pop culture. Last night, they talked to Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick about their iteration of the merc with a mouth, and ended up reminiscing about Zombieland.

The 2009 film, directed by Ruben Fleischer, had a memorable cameo by Bill Murray, who was (briefly) the last living celebrity in Hollywood. But the legendary comedian was, oddly enough, not on the short list for the part. Though Reese and Wernick originally conceived of a Roadhouse-like fight with the late Patrick Swayze, his battle with pancreatic cancer and subsequent death sent them looking for a replacement. But Sylvester Stallone, Mark Hamill, and even Jean-Claude Van Damme all turned down the opportunity for some great, meta-comedy. (But it looks like Van Damme’s making up for lost time with Jean-Claude Van Johnson.) Ultimately, Woody Harrelson suggested his Kingpin co-star Murray, and the rest is Jesse Eisenberg-starring history.

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