It's weird to think about, but we haven't seen a new film from David Fincher in almost three years. The director last brought his talents to the big screen with Gone Girl, his pulp masterpiece that drew critical acclaim despite a surprising lack of Oscar love. In the years since, Fincher has been rumored for a myriad of projects, but nothing much has come to fruition. At one point, rumor had it that he would re-team with Gone Girl star Ben Affleck and screenwriter Gillian Flynn on a modern remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train entitled Strangers, but that film seems dead in the water due to Affleck's crazy Batman schedule. In addition, Fincher has directed three episodes of Mindhunter, a dark and violent Netflix series that will debut in October 2017. But perhaps the most bizarre rumor of all was that Brad Pitt was courting Fincher to direct World War Z 2, a sequel that appeared to be stuck in development hell. Fans immediately asked- why would such an acclaimed filmmaker direct a franchise movie, especially one that's a sequel to a film that isn't especially memorable? We still don't know that answer, but judging by yesterday's report, it won't be long before we find out what a David Fincher zombie movie looks like.
According to Variety reporter Justin Kroll (who also broke the original story on Fincher's involvement), Fincher is close to finalizing a deal that would see him directing a World War Z sequel. Brad Pitt will reprise his role as Gerry Lane, and is considered to be a primary reason as to why the director is so interested in joining the project. Paramount has recently seen a change in leadership, as Jim Gianopulos is taking over the reigns and altering the culture at the famous studio. Gianopulos is expected to give World War Z 2 the greenlight very soon, with a start date in early 2018. Fincher is on a short list of directors (Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright, Christopher Nolan, among others) who can do no wrong in my eyes, so while I'll admit that this is a baffling and unexpected decision, I couldn't be more excited to see what he does with the project. World War Z is a really interesting blockbuster in that it went through a brutal production process before becoming a surprise hit, so it'll be fascinating to see what a true visionary can do with the series. Zombie films have been done well by auteur filmmakers in the past, so I don't see why Fincher can't create his own unique masterpiece with this sequel.
No official word yet, but I would expect World War Z 2 to debut sometime in 2019.