Marc Forster’s World War Z was a commercial success, so naturally a sequel would be in the works soon after its release. Unsurprisingly, Paramount jumped on the moneymaker and announced just days after its opening weekend in June 2013 that they were going ahead with World War Z 2.
Anybody who’s followed news on the zombie sequel will know that its development has had a bit of trouble getting off the ground. With Juan Antonio Bayona initially onboard to direct, Steven Knight to pen the script and a release date of June 9th 2017, the film looked like it was going ahead smoothly. This took a quick turn in 2016 when it was announced that Bayona had dropped out due to other commitments and eventually went on to direct Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Paramount took no time in searching for a new director, and interestingly David Fincher, the man behind Seven, Gone Girl, The Social Network and many other award winning films, was prepared to take on the project as director in April 2017.
Not a lot moved ahead other than a delay into 2019 due to Fincher’s work on the Netflix series Mindhunter, and unfortunately now we won’t be hearing any more.
The Playlist have revealed that Paramount have ultimately decided to pull the plug on the film just months ahead of its scheduled production date over budget concerns. This cancellation has come after several months of pre-production already, including principal photography in five different countries. According to The Playlist, Fincher’s budget for the film was actually under the budget amount of the first film which stood at $190 million. However, according to a source over at Collider, Fincher’s proposed budget was over that amount. This same source also states that he refused to budge which ultimately led to Paramount’s decision to drop the sequel.
It’s possible that Paramount’s budgeting concerns are over their recent decision to line up Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 back to back, alongside their blockbuster franchises like Transformers, and their recently announced reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While this cancellation may not be a surprise after six years of issues trying to get it off the ground, with Fincher at the helm of a zombie thriller, the film definitely held potential to be something interesting. Brad Pitt, who starred as the protagonist of the first film, has worked with Fincher on numerous projects beforehand, so the working chemistry of the two would have benefited the film absolutely.
While it’s still possible Paramount could pick the film back up again, it’s more than likely going to be dead and buried, unless of course they decide to resurrect it with a new director and a much smaller budget.
What are your thoughts on this? Would you have liked to have seen Fincher’s interpretation of the zombie apocalypse? Drop us a comment down below.