Despite all sorts of script difficulties, delays and other problems, the zombie film World War Z made it to the screen in 2013 and delivered enough thrills to roust up $540 million at the world box office. The movie’s surprisingly upbeat ending left the door wide open for a sequel and indeed star/producer Brad Pitt is currently at work, trying to make that second movie happen.
Finding a director willing to take on the task of helming World War Z 2 is proving to be somewhat of a complicated process. The original film was directed by Marc Forster but he apparently was never considered to return. J.A. Bayona was all set to take on the sequel at one point, but the A Monster Calls filmmaker is now moving forward instead on Jurassic World 2 (which is currently in production).
If you can’t get Marc Forster or J.A. Bayona, nabbing one of the top directors on the planet would not be a bad consolation prize. David Fincher is without doubt one of the top directors on the planet and Brad Pitt and company would love for Fincher to jump aboard World War Z 2 and make some post-apocalyptic swarming-zombies magic. Fincher has expressed interest in taking on the task and, in a recent interview with Collider, Skydance CEO David Ellison reiterated that Fincher is the man they’re targeting for the next World War Z:
“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.”
Just the fact that World War Z 2 has a script producers are incredibly happy with is news by itself. The first World War Z, based on a novel by Max Brooks, famously went through multiple iterations in the script phase and finally wound up with several credited screenwriters – including Damon Lindelof, who was brought onboard to help rework the film’s third act, after principal photography had wrapped. Utopia writer Dennis Kelly and Taboo writer Steven Knight have reportedly both had a crack at the World War Z sequel script, but it’s not clear yet if either of them was responsible for the current draft.
It’s safe to assume that unless World War Z 2 has a solid script, Fincher is not going anywhere near it. Ellison sounds confident about the sequel’s screenplay, but his remarks about Fincher are vague enough that it’s hard to tell if he is truly confident that he can get the Zodiac and Fight Club director to climb aboard – or he’s just expressing his hopes that this will happen.
A director as big as Fincher directing a zombie movie, and a sequel at that, would be a bit of a coup. Of course, Fincher has proven himself willing to take on genre fare in the past, helming movies like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl. Fincher’s visual style and sense of brooding rhythm would certainly give World War Z 2 a touch of distinction.