2009’s Zombieland was one of the year’s great surprise hit films, and judging by a new trailer, Amazon’s web series version hopes to offer more of the same. The trailer has been released as the pilot episode will soon become available.
The trailer has received a highly negative response, mainly because the four veteran actors–Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin–are gone, replaced by relative newcomers playing the same roles. io9 claims the trailer “feels wrong,” and they’re not off-base. Given how similar the jokes are to the original film, it feels like a lovingly-constructed fan tribute rather than a new offering from the film’s creative team.
Of course, that is Zombieland‘s x-factor. The series’ writers are Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, both of whom wrote the original Zombieland, and the pilot’s director is the film’s producer, Gavin Polone. Given the zany nature of the movie, it doesn’t seem fair to judge the series on one short 50-second clip. After all, from watching the film’s trailer, would you ever be able to tell that the funniest sequence involves a zombie-impersonating Bill Murray?
The Zombieland series is expected to be a big hit for Amazon, which is building an online video platform to challenge other premium providers such as Netflix. The pilot is expected to see release very soon, with the rest of the series still in the works. When a full episode is available, we’ll be able to tell if the hype was warranted or if Zombieland feels like a cheap knock-off.