It has been four years since World War Z hit theaters, and it looks like its long-awaited sequel, World War Z 2, is finally moving forward at Paramount Pictures. Zombies are one of the major cornerstones of the horror genre, appearing prominently in all types of media – from comics to television to movies – thanks to major properties like 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead. Although many movies have depicted zombies before, Paramount wanted to try something new with Marc Forster’s World War Z, based on the novel of the same name by Max Brooks.
Although it’s named after the best-selling book, the movie – which had its story written by Matt Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski – had almost nothing in common with the novel; that didn’t prevent the film, however, from becoming a worldwide hit, despite suffering from several production setbacks. In addition to receiving mostly positive reviews, World War Z grossed an astonishing $540 million worldwide, while also earning Brad Pitt his highest-grossing opening weekend ever. It wasn’t long after that the studio officially announced plans to move forward with a sequel. That was four years ago.
Jim Gianopulos, who had been let go from his chairman position over at 20th Century Fox last year, has recently accepted Viacom’s offer to manage Paramount Pictures as their new studio chief – and he’s already getting to work on prioritizing projects. In an interview with THR, he spoke about his plans as the new studio head, including moving forward with World War Z 2. In addition to confirming Pitt’s return as well as David Fincher as director, Gianopulos provided the outlet with a status update on the project, saying that they are currently in “advanced development.”
In December 2013, reports suggested that Juan Antonio Bayona had signed on to direct the sequel. Considering the plagued production on the original movie, and the fact that virtually the entire third act had to be rewritten and reshot, it made sense the studio would want to push forward with a new team – and that included hiring a new screenwriter. A few months later, Steven Knight signed on to pen the screenplay, and the following year it was announced that the movie would hit screens in June 2017.
Things were moving forward, but then production derailed when Bayona dropped the project due to scheduling conflicts – presumably with the upcoming Jurassic World sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which he officially signed on for shortly after abandoning the World War Z sequel. After spending most of the year without a director, it was eventually reported that Fincher had been circling the project. It wasn’t until earlier this year that the director had reportedly reached an agreement to officially direct the sequel, something Paramount’s boss has since confirmed. Now, the only thing people want to know is when World War Z 2 is going to actually release.