'Zombieland' Writers Reveal the Original Cameo Scene Written for Patrick Swayze
Bill Murray‘s appearance as himself in Zombieland is one of the greatest cameos of all time. It’s so perfectly Bill Murray, and the way it ends is truly worthy of a chef’s kiss. However, before the Ghostbusters star was confirmed to make the cameo, there were several other versions that were considered. In fact, the original draft had Patrick Swayze making the big cameo with a ton of references to his greatest movies from the 1980s, and some serious shade thrown at one of the favorites.
Zombieland co-writer Paul Wernick took to Twitter to release the script pages with Patrick Swayze’s cameo. But there are some things you need to know before you start reading. In this draft of the script, Woody Harrelson‘s character Tallahassee was originally named Albuquerque, Jesse Eisenberg‘s character Columbus was called Flagstaff, and Abigail Breslin‘s character Little Rock was Stillwater. But Emma Stone‘s character was always Wichita.
So there you go, and here are the pages:
The scene plays out much differently than what we got with Bill Murray, mostly because Patrick Swayze is actually a zombie in the scene instead of pretending to be one to assist in his survival. However, this zombie seems a little more reserved and tricky since he takes the time to fake out Flagstaff by sneaking up on him while he’s messing with the pottery wheel from Ghost.
Speaking of which, the placement of the characters has totally changed. In the final cut of the movie, it’s Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin’s characters who are watching a movie starring Bill Murray while Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone are the ones who encounter him first. But with Patrick Swayze, it’s Woody Harrelson’s character who shows Abigail Breslin the movie Road House, and Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone are the ones who encounter zombie Patrick Swayze.
Plus, unlike the outpouring of love that Tallahassee gives Bill Murray in the theatrical cut of Zombieland, the Patrick Swayze scene has the character still fuming that the man he loved in The Outsiders and Red Dawn stooped so low as to shake his ass in Dirty Dancing. Apparently he never forgave him, and once the time comes to kill Zombie Swayze, all four of the characters have a movie for which they feel he deserves to be punished, and that’s that.
Unfortunately, co-writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick weren’t ever able to offer Swayze the chance to take this cameo because around the time it would have been sorted out, the Red Dawn star had just started his fight with cancer. This would have been one hell of a farewell role, but then again, it might have been a little bittersweet since Swayze died just one month before Zombieland was released in theaters. I’m willing to bet that if they had gotten Swayze, the scene might have been deleted from the movie out of respect.
Stay tuned, because Wernick says he and Reese are planning on releasing a different version of the cameo scene every day, and they’ve got a decent list of variations including Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Mark Hamill, Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Joe Pesci, Matthew McConnaughey and more. We’ll post them as they become available!
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