‘Zombieland: Double Tap’: The Stars Then And Now

It’s not often that actors from a breakout hit film have a decade to build upon their success before the sequel. But that’s exactly what happened in the case of Zombieland’s cast. Now, as they prepare for the October 2019 release of Zombieland: Double Tap, we take a look at how far they’ve all come.

Jesse Eisenberg

(L) Jesse Eisenberg at the Zombieland premiere in 2009 | Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images, (R) Jesse Eisenberg in 2019
(L) Jesse Eisenberg at the Zombieland premiere in 2009 | Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images, (R) Jesse Eisenberg in 2019 | Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Eisenberg portrays Columbus, who kicks off the story by describing his rules for surviving the zombie apocalypse. This film marked the actor’s big career breakthrough. Prior to Zombieland, Eisenberg had starred in the short-lived Fox comedy Get Real and in a dozen or so indie films, including 2009’s Adventureland.

After Zombieland, Eisenberg’s hit it big with a few notable gigs in a row. He starred in The Social Network, portraying Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, which earned him an Oscar nomination. He went on to star in the Now You See Me films and voice the protagonist, Blu, in the animated movies Rio and Rio 2. Eisenberg also portrayed Lex Luthor in the DCEU.

Woody Harrelson

(L) Woody Harrelson at the Zombieland premiere in 2009 | Jeffrey Mayer/Wire Image, (R) Woody Harrelson in 2019
(L) Woody Harrelson at the Zombieland premiere in 2009 | Jeffrey Mayer/Wire Image, (R) Woody Harrelson in 2019 | Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images

Harrelson stars as Tallahassee, who begrudgingly teams up with Columbus and the girls when the time calls. The Emmy-winning actor was certainly the veteran on set, known for his roles in the sitcom Cheers and from films such as White Men Can’t Jump and The People Vs. Larry Flynt (the latter of which earned him his first Oscar nod)

Since Zombieland, Harrelson has continued to have a dream career. He appeared in the Hunger Games franchise as Haymitch Abernathy and acted alongside Eisenberg in Now You See Me and its sequel. Harrelson also returned to TV, starring in Season 1 of True Detective on HBO.

Emma Stone

(L) Emma Stone at the Zombieland premiere in 2009 | Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic, (R) Emma Stone in 2019
(L) Emma Stone at the Zombieland premiere in 2009 | Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic, (R) Emma Stone in 2019 | Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

If Eisenberg was almost brand new on the scene, Stone had a few more popular credits to her name when she starred in Zombieland as Witchita — though not many. Her film debut came just two years prior with 2007’s Superbad. She followed this up with 2008’s The House Bunny.

So 2009 was certainly a big year for Stone, though her breakthrough role didn’t come until the next. Easy A was what solidified her as a lead actress. It wasn’t long before she appeared in more serious roles in The Help and Birdman and in the rebooted franchise The Amazing Spider-Man. Stone later earned an Academy Award for her role in the musical La La Land

Abigail Breslin

(R) Abigail Breslin at the Zombieland premiere in 2009 | Robert Marquardt/WireImage, (L) Abigail Breslin in 2019
(R) Abigail Breslin at the Zombieland premiere in 2009 | Robert Marquardt/WireImage, (L) Abigail Breslin in 2019 | Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Breslin portrays Little Rock, the younger sister to Stone’s character. Though she was just 13 when Zombieland was released, Breslin was already a veteran actress with an Academy Award nomination under her belt for her 2007 role in the acclaimed film Little Miss Sunshine.

As you can imagine, Breslin’s career has only boomed from there. She has appeared in films such as August: Osage County and Final Girl, as her roles have matured with her age. Breslin also starred in the Fox horror-comedy series Scream Queens during its two-season run.

Amber Heard

(L) Amber Heard at the Zombieland premiere in 2009 | Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic, (R) Amber Heard in 2019
(L) Amber Heard at the Zombieland premiere in 2009 | Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic, (R) Amber Heard in 2019 | Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Chances are, you forgot about Heard’s role as 406, Columbus’ neighbor who he tries to save, only for her to meet a deadly end. That’s because, at the time, the actress had only appeared in a handful of unsuccessful films, as well as the swiftly canceled CW series Hidden Palms.

It took a few years, but Heard’s career took off after Zombieland. Her roles in films such as Pineapple Express, The Rum Diary, and Magic Mike XXL certainly helped. Today, she’s a part of the DCEU, portraying Mera in Justice League and Aquaman

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