Paramount is moving forward with World War Z 2 in a big way and have closed with David Fincher to direct the project. World War Z was a troubled film that found success at the worldwide box office. Pairing Brad Pitt with zombies – a current cultural phenomenon thanks to The Walking Dead – was just enough to help make World War Z not only a box office success but also a critical hit.
However, because of the troubled production, the project was not bringing back Marc Forster to direct a sequel. This resulted in Pitt turning to longtime collaborator David Fincher to step in and save the day. After previously being in talks but having those discussions cool, the deal has finally closed.
Variety is reporting that Fincher has closed a deal to direct the sequel that will mark his fourth collaboration with Pitt. The project currently does not have a release date, but once new chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos officially green lights the film, the hope is that production will begin early next year.
Pitt and Fincher first worked together in Se7en, then again on Fight Club, and most recently in 2008 with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In each instance, Fincher is able to get great performances out of Pitt, and that translates across his entire filmography. His name is also behind films like Zodiac, The Social Network, and Gone Girl.
However, Fincher has not had the best success with franchises before. Alien 3 is a divisive film and Fincher has made his displeasure with that film known. Paramount surely knows of this history and likely has given him a lot of creative control over the direction of the franchise, the content and themes, and even the rating. The first World War Z film had a $190 million budget for a PG-13 film, but Fincher’s abilities and style will hopefully lower that and avoid the need to have lengthy reshoots like its predecessor, while also possibly taking the franchise into the now popular R-rated field.
With filming not anticipated to begin until 2018, Fincher has plenty of time to figure out the logistics and story points. That said, with it being over eight months since it was first reported that he was in talks, Fincher likely has a good idea of where he wants to take this franchise. But, with the cast finding a way to make themselves invisible to the zombies in the original, what causes the conflict this time around remains to be seen. Hopefully, Fincher and the studio can collaborate in a friendly way to craft not only a great second film, but also the future of this hopeful franchise.