World War Z 2 was originally slated for a June 2017 release, but Paramount temporarily shelved its plans for a sequel, making some fear that the appeal of the Brad Pitt franchise could begin to diminish.
In 2006, Max Brooks penned the World War Z novel, which was a collection of stories and interviews of zombie apocalypse survivors across the globe. While the World War Z film did not faithfully follow the novel’s format, its box office performance was deemed stellar after grossing $540 million worldwide.
Paramount is understandably excited over the idea of a sequel, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio is now aiming for a 2018 or 2019 release date. The film hasn’t shot a single scene yet and hasn’t even finalized a directorial contract yet, which was why it did not come as a surprise to fans that this year’s scheduled release was canceled.
As per the website, filmmaker David Fincher is still “very creatively interested in directing the movie.” He already worked with Pitt on several films, including Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Writer Dennis Kelly, the mind behind the British program Utopia, is on board as well. Fincher even considered remaking Utopia for the US screens with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, but the collaboration did not push through due to budget constraints.
With World War Z 2, Fincher won’t have to think about the budget, although insiders claim that once finalized, the director wants to spend less than World War Z’s original budget of $190 million. Paramount has a partner, Skydance Productions, that will co-finance the sequel.
Given Fincher’s determination to work on World War Z 2, some are wondering why Paramount’s chief, Brad Grey, can’t give the green light.
J.A. Bayona was originally asked to helm the sequel, but he dropped the project in January 2016 because he was reportedly not given enough time to prepare. “I loved those guys at Paramount and [Pitt’s] Plan B. I just can’t work like that,” he previously told The Hollywood Reporter. Bayona then went to work on the still untitled Jurassic World sequel.
In 2013, Pitt, whose company produced the film, told Variety that World War Z could be a three-part franchise because they have “so many ideas and so much information” that they could mine from.
The studio already experienced obstacles while producing World War Z. There were complaints about the third act from test screeners, which ultimately led to expensive reshoots. Nonetheless, the film managed to succeed.
Now, the producers must wonder if delaying the sequel will cause the franchise to lose its appeal?
Uproxx has even suggested turning the sequel into a television series instead. Although AMC’s The Walking Dead remains one of the most-watched television shows, World War Z 2 could take a different path. Since The Walking Dead follows the journey of a group of survivors, the World War Z follow-up could show the viewers something new.
“How does the United States react to a zombie outbreak as opposed to Israel or South Africa or North Korea? What about the people on the International Space Station? There are at least two major battles in North America alone that could be the culmination of two different seasons. The carpet-bombing of infected refugees in Russia who then pop back up and join the ranks of the undead, the creepy inhumane rumors about how North Korea is dealing with the problem, the zombie-sniffing dogs at the gates of Jerusalem, Iceland being completely overrun by the undead who then mill about beneath the ocean: the list of potential narratives goes on and on.”
Do you think Paramount should forget its plan to release World War Z 2 on the big screen?
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images For Paramount]