May 29, 2017

SXSW: Zombieland’ director Ruben Fleischer on the inevitability of 3-D zombies

During a South By Southwest panel about the future of horror filmmaking, Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer confessed that he would have loved for his acclaimed 2009 debut to have been in 3-D. “When I look at Zombieland and I think about some of the cool shots that I’m proud of in the movie, I think about how much cooler they would have been if they’d been in 3-D,” he said Saturday afternoon in Austin, TX. “The woman flying through the windshield is the best example, [but] I can only imagine how cool that would look in 3-D. Or some of the splatter gore or whatever. Without being gratuitous, I think it’s just a cool way to make it more entertaining.”

“I think Zombieland, what it’s best at is just being pure entertainment,” Fleischer continued. “I feel like 3-D has that component of, in a way like a ride at an amusement park, it’s just a form of entertainment. To me, it enhances entertainment value, especially with a movie with the tone of Zombieland.”

After Zombieland became a hit, Sony Pictures, the film’s distributor, announced that it would be produced in 3-D. Fleischer indicated he was still in the process of writing and developing a story that he hopes will maximize the potential of the format. “I’ve been going to all these 3-D [meetings] – like the guys who did Avatar have something and now Sony has something,” he explained. “When I watch their demos and things like that, I get so fired up. I think it looks amazing so I’m excited to make Zombieland 2 in 3-D and I think it’ll really hopefully enhance it.”

While neither he nor his fellow panelists – among them Matt Reeves (Let Me In), Ti West (The House of the Devil), and Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror) – suggested that 3-D was automatically superior to two-dimensional moviemaking, he did admit that he was tailoring the film to exploit some of the visual opportunities it affords. “We’re writing it with 3-D in mind,” he said. “I took the writers to the 3-D workshop. We’re really going to try and make it something that’s intentional as opposed to some of the movies where it’s just another component to market or a way to make more money at the box office. For us we really want to make it something that just elevates the entertainment value of the film.”

About Todd Gilchrist

Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based film critic and entertainment journalist. Over the past decade he worked at a variety of online and print publications, including the Miami New Times,, SCI FI Wire, and, where he wrote reviews, conducted interviews with actors and filmmakers, and edited Movies, DVD and Music content. He currently works for among other outlets, and has been a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association since 2005.

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One Comment

  • March 14, 2010 | Permalink |

    so so…Zombieland cluld have been much better.

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