Of the many big budget movies that Hollywood studios have hoped to turn into major franchises, it’s hard to think of one with a more difficult birthing process than World War Z. Despite being based on a hugely popular book, having a star and producer in the form of Brad Pitt, and a general love affair with zombies in the movie-going public, the movie had such a long, hard struggle to the big screen it almost seemed damned. That’s why rumours of David Fincher‘s possible participation in a sequel was so intriguing, but now it seems that Fincher’s status on the film has been promoted from speculation to fact.
In a wide-ranging interview with the new head of Paramount Pictures, Jim Gianopulos, The Hollywood Reporter asked about the World Ward Z sequel saying, “We’re in advanced development.” When THR asked to confirm that Fincher was directing, Gianopulos said a straightforward, “Yes.” Fincher has always been a bold choice to director this film as he’s seemed intent to avoid franchise filmmaking ever again after his much maligned debut with Alien 3. On the other hand, this would mark the director’s fourth collaboration with Pitt, who was the star of Fincher’s Seven, Fight Club, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, so perhaps the chance to collaborate again was just too appealing.
Marc Forster was the director of the first film, and a lot of the blame fell on him for how the budget for World War Z ballooned to $190 million and was delayed for months as they tried to figure out the third act of the film. Critics were predicting disaster, but the film surprised by garnering a strong worldwide box office showing of $540 million, and enough critical acclaim to be rated “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes. J.A. Bayona, now the director of Jurassic World 2, was set to direct a sequel with a release date set for June 9 of this year, but the project was delayed and Bayona moved on to other things.
We’ll have more news on this project as it becomes available.