The sequel World War Z 2 went from intriguing possibility to must-see very quickly last summer when word surfaced that star Brad Pitt was courting his friend and frequent collaborator David Fincher to take the helm. The 2013 zombie actioner had its ups and downs throughout production, going through some significant and highly publicized reshoots to re-conceive the third act, but when all was said and done the film was actually quite good, and audiences responded to the tune of $540 million worldwide. Director Marc Forster was not really in the mix to return for the follow-up, and while Pitt and Co. initially signed The Impossible helmer J.A. Bayona to take the helm, he ended up departing over concerns about chasing a release date, choosing instead to develop and direct Jurassic World 2.
It was unclear what would become of World War Z 2, but the news that Pitt was courting Fincher was A. A sign that Paramount and the film’s producers were still keen on making this sequel and B. Proof that Pitt and Co. weren’t messing around. Just last month we learned that Fincher is still very much in the mix to direct, so when Collider’s Steve Weintraub spoke with producer and Skydance Media CEO David Ellison at SXSW for the premiere of the sci-fi thriller Life, he asked about the status of the film and whether Fincher would direct:
“There’s a script that we’re incredibly happy with, and it’s just getting a couple of key deals closed… We hope [Fincher] makes the movie.”
It’s unclear who penned the most recent draft of the script, but we do know that Steven Knight (Taboo, Locke) turned in a script last fall. But when you combine the “key deals” phrase with Ellison’s hope that Fincher does indeed direct, it sounds like the filmmaker could be in negotiations to actually sign onto this thing—which is crazy exciting.
Fincher is, simply, one of the best directors who’s ever lived, and while he’s crafted dramatic masterpieces like The Social Network and Zodiac, successful and thought-provoking popcorn fare like Gone Girl and Panic Room, and even a dramatic epic in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fincher has yet to make an out-and-out blockbuster. World War Z 2 gives him that opportunity, plus zombies, so whatever your thoughts on the first movie it’s impossible to deny that this is a tremendously exciting prospect.
So to echo Ellison’s thoughts here, I too really hope Fincher makes this movie. One reason for the holdup could be that Paramount is currently without a chairman, as Brad Grey exited the post last month. But as soon as a new studio head is hired and settled in, maybe this deal can finally be made and Fincher can be on his way towards crafting a genuine blockbuster.