Yesterday, Paramount Pictures did some house cleaning. The studio dropped two major releases from their 2017 release schedule — Friday the 13th and World War Z 2. The studio has since officially put the kibosh on their troubled F13 reboot, but they’re reportedly aiming for a 2018 or 2019 release World War Z 2.
Today, a new report has shed some light on the status of Brad Pitt‘s zombie pandemic sequel and the only real question now is, what the hell is the hold up? THR reports that David Fincher wants to direct World War Z 2, but Paramount is dragging its heels. Yeah, you read that right. David freaking Fincher, one of the best living directors, wants to direct the freaking World War Z sequel and the studio is just like, not sure. That is straight up insane.
Per the report, a source says Fincher is “very creatively interested in directing the movie,” which would reteam him with Brad Pitt. The duo has shared a long-running collaboration, which dates back to 1995’s Se7en. Their last film together was the 2008 drama The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Fincher is also reportedly “very much on board” with the new take on the World War Z sequel from Dennis Kelley, creator of the British series Utopia, which Fincher was previously set to remake at HBO.
In case you forgot, that series got tanked by the network before HBO’s recent executive shakeup, as did his other series in development there, the 1980s-set comedy Video Synchronicity. Fincher’s HBO shows were reportedly scuttled over budget concerns, which is what makes this next part so crazy.
Paramount has no problem with the price tag Fincher is presenting. Fincher is reportedly looking to make the follow-up for less than the original’s $190 million budget, which it should be noted was an international smash success, grossing $540 million worldwide. And since Skydance is co-producing and co-financing the film, Paramount even has a financial buffer to help mitigate any perceived risk. Even so, Paramount chief Brad Grey “was not ready” to greenlight the sequel.