World War Z was a huge surprise hit back in 2013, not only because it was a (mostly) original property thriving in a summer filled with sequels, but because it had suffered from an endless barrage of behind-the-scenes turmoil. Rumors of competing cuts, a ballooning budget, and a totally scrapped third act were swirling in the months before its release, and it was a story that overwhelmed the movie itself. But in the end, the film was pretty good, and the starpower of Brad Pitt dominated the box office around the globe to the tune of $540 million dollars. Even with minimal gains for Paramount due to budget constraints, a sequel was not far behind. Currently set for a June 9, 2017 release date (although that's sure to change), World War Z 2 is a priority for both Pitt and Paramount. The Impossible director J.A. Bayona was set to helm the film before departing for Jurassic World 2, leaving the anticipated sequel without a director. News was quiet on the film for a big chunk of time (Pitt is busy with two war movies, Allied and War Machine), but now, things are heating up again thanks to a major report from Variety.
According to Variety reporter Justin Kroll, Brad Pitt is pursuing David Fincher to direct World War Z 2. The acclaimed filmmaker was behind the camera for some of Pitt's most iconic roles in Fight Club, Se7en, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, so this makes sense from a relationship standpoint. The article mentions that Fincher is always willing to talk with Pitt about his upcoming projects, and that this is far from a done deal. However, Kroll emphasizes that the negotiations are advanced and that no other director "has an offer." Fincher first dabbled in franchise filmmaking with Alien 3, and was approached to direct Star Wars: Episode VII before turning it down. I still think that this is unlikely to happen, but nonetheless, I'm having fun imagining what a dark, violent Fincher zombie movie would look like. He's one of the greatest directors on the planet, one of those guys who could turn the dumbest concept into a masterpiece of composition and tension. As much as I'd like him to pursue other projects (like his Strangers on a Train remake with Gillian Flynn and Ben Affleck), I have to say, I'd be okay if Fincher decided to line up another collaboration with Pitt on this big-budget sequel. Look for more on World War Z 2 in the near future.
Image Credits: Paramount Pictures, Joblo