Fans of zombie movies are still waiting on a sequel to 2013's World War Z, which was, despite some bumps in the road, a success for Paramount. The development process for World War Z 2 has also been a little rocky so far, with the studio recently taking the sequel off of their release schedule for 2017. Paramount still wants the movie to happen and perhaps, more importantly, David Fincher wants to direct it.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, David Fincher, who worked with World War Z star Brad Pitt on Seven, Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is "very creatively interested in directing the movie." It was reported last year that Brad Pitt was trying to court David Fincher to direct World War Z 2 after director J.A. Bayona departed the project. Apparently, it worked. Here is what a source with knowledge of the situation had to say about it.
"He really would like to do it. It's up to Paramount."
David Fincher is a very in-demand director and oddly enough, Paramount hasn't pulled the trigger on officially getting him to sign on the dotted line to do World War Z 2. What's more is that, according to THR, the budget for the currently proposed version of the sequel wouldn't be an issue, as it would be less than the $190 million that was spent on the first movie, which wound up needing very significant reshoots to retool the entire third act. Apparently, according to this report, it is Paramount's Brad Grey who is hesitant to give World War Z 2 the green light, even with David Fincher on board.
The fact that Fincher is at all interested in tackling a sequel to a massive blockbuster movie that he had nothing to do with is definitely surprising and it surely has a lot to do with his good working relationship with Brad Pitt. The director reportedly really likes Dennis Kelly's take on the script for World War Z 2. Dennis Kelly is the creator of the British show Utopia, which, interestingly enough, was being adapted for the U.S. by David Fincher and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. The project ultimately fell apart at HBO, but that still means that there is already some connective tissue and working relationship that exists between the creatives for World War Z 2. So, why Paramount won't give the go-ahead is a bit perplexing.
Despite the troubles that the first World War Z faced, it was still a very successful movie. It wound up grossing $540 million worldwide and was generally well received. It is also worth mentioning that, outside of Transformers, Paramount really doesn't have much in the way of viable franchises right now. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows bombed last summer, and Star Trek Beyond didn't meet expectations. Not by a long shot. So, something like World War Z 2, with an A-list actor in Brad Pitt and an A-list director in David Fincher, could be a very good thing for Paramount.
The ball seems to be in their court, but if they sit on their hands too long, it is very likely David Fincher will find something else to occupy his time. Originally, World War Z 2 was set for release on June 9, 2017, but Paramount recently removed the movie from the schedule, which didn't come as much of a surprise since cameras hadn't even started rolling yet. The studio reportedly wants to get the movie going and is hoping for a 2018 or 2019 release. Will it be David Fincher at the helm? If things go well, that seems like a strong possibility. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more details become available.