“World War Z” was a commercial success and it’s pretty hard to imagine that this movie actually suffered several setbacks before its release.
Now, it seems like the sequel is having a troubled production as well because according to TheWrap, the film will move forward without director Juan Antonio Bayona.
Based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Max Brooks, the original “World War Z” movie is an American apocalyptic action horror film directed by German-Swiss filmmaker Marc Forster (“Stranger Than Fiction”, “Finding Neverland”).
Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt starred in it as Gerry Lane, a former United Nations investigator who must travel the world to find a way to stop a zombie pandemic. Though the film was criticised for “the anti-climax and outdated CGI”, it received generally positive reviews from critics and fans alike for its “realistic revival of the zombie genre”.
It also became the highest-grossing zombie film of all time for grossing over USD540 million against a production budget of USD190 million.
Paramount Pictures announced that director Juan Antonio Bayona, who signed on to helm the “World War Z” sequel in December 2013, has left the director’s chair.
In a press statement, Paramount said:
Bayona is no longer able to make ‘World War Z 2’ this year, and it is our ambition to do so. He is a wonderful director and we hope to work with him soon.
Bayona’s departure from the film is in part due to the timing. Best known for directing “The Orphanage”, the director is currently working on “A Monster Calls”, an upcoming film which stars Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson. Set to be released later year, this particular film is in post-production now.
As Paramount is eager to release the 2nd “World War Z” film next summer, the director didn’t feel like he could finish “A Monster Calls” before this summer. He also felt like he needed more prep time to helm the sequel.
As such, the impasse led to a cordial parting of the ways.
Despite his departure, the sequel is moving forward with “Utopia” creator Dennis Kelly attached to rewrite the screenplay that was originally written by “Locke” helmer Steven Knight. Co-financed by Skydance, the movie will be produced by Pitt, Jeremy Kleiner, and Dede Gardner via their Plan B Entertainment banner.
Plot details are kept under wraps, but Knight told Thompson on Hollywood that the sequel will start off with a “clean slate”.
Bayona is best known for his work on “The Orphanage”, a critically acclaimed horror film that launched his career and led him to helm the 2012 tsunami drama, “The Impossible”.
Since he’s no longer attached to helm “World War Z 2”, he may accept Universal’s offer to direct the “Jurassic World” sequel. Paramount will need to lock down its director before the filming on the “World War Z” sequel begin this summer.
Scheduled for release on 9th June 2017, “World War Z 2” will see Pitt returning to star as the main protagonist. Who do you think should helm the sequel? Let us know in the comments box below.