The release schedule for 2016 is already chock-full with cinematic “events” (Captain America: Civil War, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, etc.), and there will be even more major studio projects joining the lineup over the forthcoming year. One such potential 2016 movie is that of the World War Z sequel, the followup to the Brad Pitt-starring globe trotting zombie survival thriller that grossed over half a billion dollars at the 2013 global box office.
Currently onboard to direct World War Z 2 (official title TBA) is Juan Antonio Bayona, who already has a film slated to arrive next year in the dark children’s fantasy novel adaptation A Monster Calls. Last we heard, the script was being written by Oscar-nominee Steven Knight, who is the creator of the acclaimed Peaky Binders TV series, as well as the writer/director on last year’s critical fave minimalist drama Locke.
However, a recent interview that Indiewire conducted with Knight clarifies that he is currently writing the treatment for the World War Z sequel. He may not pen the actual script, though, as Knight intends to press ahead soon on a couple new collaborations with his Locke and Peaky Binders star Tom Hardy, including on the TV series Taboo. It also sounds like World War Z 2 hasn’t been officially green-lit yet, judging by Knight’s comment about his involvement with the project:
“I thought, ‘Why not? What fun.’ It’s not quite like the other, we’re starting with clean slate. When they’ve signed off we’re on.”
Director Marc Forster’s World War Z movie deviated significantly from the structure and content of the source novel authored by Max Brooks: an oral history of events that took place during the zombie pandemic, from its beginning to end. That was before the movie concluded on a note that left the door pretty wide open, with respect to the possibilities for the sequel’s plot. Knight’s comment that he has a “clean slate” to work from might be a reference to that.
It could also mean he and the sequel’s producers (as well as star Brad Pitt) aren’t looking at Brooks’ source material for inspiration at all. That may come as unwelcome news for WWZ book fans hoping to see more scenarios described in Brooks’ novel (but which were not used in the first movie) incorporated into the film sequel instead. Still, the combination of a treatment by Knight and direction by Bayona – helmsman on the Penny Dreadful pilot and the acclaimed supernatural horror film The Orphanage – bodes well for the quality of the World War Z sequel.
If Paramount does in fact end up giving World War Z 2 a green light, then the plan is (reportedly) for production to get started this October, meaning the film could make a late 2016 release date. Presumably, the WWZ sequel would be ready to hit theaters no sooner than either October or some later month during the last quarter of 2016.
Both November and December of 2016 are currently pretty full with big movies (from the likes of Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and Disney Animation), but a promising spot for WWZ 2 could open up if Sony’s Sinister Six movie is either canceled or delayed from its November release. The World War Z sequel could also end up being postponed until a better date in the first half of 2017 (when fellow 2013 film sequel Pacific Rim 2 is scheduled to hit the scene).
We’ll let you know when World War Z 2 gets an official release date.