Marc Forster Won’t Direct the ‘World War Z’ Sequel

Published 2 years ago by

world war z sequel director Marc Forster Wont Direct the World War Z Sequel

We awarded this year’s World War Z movie with the “Best Frankenstein Job” Award for 2013 – and while that “honor” is (obviously) partly tongue-in-cheek, it’s not altogether unfitting either. This was a project that started to look like a car wreck in the making, when the surprising decision was made to abandon the original ending and reshoot the entire third act (causing the budget to balloon to $190 million).

However, at the end of the day, the people behind the globe-trotting zombie blockbuster manage to cobble the disparate pieces of the movie together to form a decent, if unremarkable, final product. More importantly, from a studio perspective, World War Z grossed $539 million worldwide (a career-high for star Brad Pitt); and thus, in the process, kept Paramount’s nearly-forgotten hopes for a WWZ film trilogy alive (no pun intended).

The news of WWWZ undergoing extensive pickup-shooting (nearly two months’ worth) brought with it rumors that the situation was so volatile that Pitt and director Marc Forster had stopped talking to one another. Most of the main players on the project have since denied that the situation ever became so uncomfortable; that includes co-writer Damon Lindelof, who was the primary architect for the revamped third act. Nevertheless, an update from THR on the developing WWZ sequel – revealing that Forster won’t return as the director on the next installment – comes as little to no surprise.

June 23 Box Office World War Z Marc Forster Wont Direct the World War Z Sequel

This nugget of information was contained within a larger article focused on Pitt’s career status (hat tip to Bleeding Cool for catching it), which included another vague update on the status of the WWZ sequel from the actor:

Plan B also is developing a sequel to [‘World War Z’], which still is in its nascent stages, though director Marc Forster won’t be back. “We are talking about it,” says Pitt. “We are going to investigate a script. We have a lot of ideas we will cull from. Nobody is writing just yet, but we are compiling our ideas.”

Honestly, even if we ignore WWZ‘s production woes and the many headaches it undoubtedly caused for Forster (which probably in part explains him not returning for the sequel)… this might be for the best. Forster is generally regarded as being more capable at – and, in turn, more comfortable with – plot and/or character-driven filmmaking (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction) than spectacle and/or action-centric storytelling (Quantum of Solace, World War Z). Considering that the WWZ followup seems likely to bear a stronger resemblance to the first two-thirds of its predecessor (not the more intimate and comparatively minimalistic third act), Forster’s departure feels appropriate.

World War Z poster2 Marc Forster Wont Direct the World War Z Sequel

Speaking of which – what, exactly, is the direction that Plan B and Paramount want to take with the next WWZ installment? Well, as Pitt’s protagonist acknowledged in the final minutes of the first movie (via ominous voiceover), the fight between the normal human population and the Z-infected hordes is far from over – and there’s plenty of material in Max Brooks’ source novel that remains untapped onscreen, as Pitt acknowledged in a previous interview:

“We have so many ideas on the table from the time we spent developing this thing and figuring out how the zombie worlds work… We think we have a lot of stuff to mine from.”

It’s fairly obvious that plans for a WWZ sequel (or two) were placed on the back-burner while the first movie was being overhauled, so it might be a significant amount of time before Pitt (or anyone connected with the project) has something more substantial to offer – much less, a replacement director for Forster is announced. That said, there is certainly potential for the next zombie battle to be easier to construct; not to mention, smarter and more exciting to watch than the first one.

Let us know if you want to see a World War Z sequel in the comments section.


World War Z is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Source: THR [via Bleeding Cool]

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. Nobody should direct a World War Z sequel. I don’t know anybody who’s looking forward to a sequel to World War Z. Whether they liked the film or not.

    • I am

    • I am too.

    • Me three!!!

  2. No sure why there is a sequel. Just because WWZ wasn’t a complete disaster as expected, doesn’t mean it still wasn’t a mess. The ending still didn’t work, it felt like exactly what it was: a reshot ending cut in at the last minute. The big climax was a let down, felt like the movie was just starting. Overall, it was just watchable. No replay value, nobody saw it twice. Zombies are “in” so it made some cash at the box office, despite being just a mediocre film.

    • It also felt like a film that was constrained by a pg 13 rating.

  3. Well considering they pretty much made the whole thing up and didn’t bother to take anything other than the name from the book, I don’t think it matters who directs the next one.

  4. That’s kind of a bummer. I really liked the first one. It wasn’t anything like the book but it set the stage nicely for the sequel to be exactly like the book. They could go into how Israel DID NOT fall to the zombies and how Cuba was still safe and stuff like that. I thought the film was well directed and I like consistency so I’m disappointed he won’t be returning. I guess I’d rather there not be a sequel than them try to pump one out and it end up being bad.

  5. Call me crazy but I didn’t hate WWZ and I really really thought I would.
    Was it a great movie? Heck no, but compared to what I was expecting when I finished the movie I didn’t think it was a complete waste and I’d probably even watch it again and there’s a couple movies I saw this summer that I expected to love and have no desire to see again.

  6. How about not showing every cool scene from the movie in the trailer? And, perhaps show some actual “war” instead of running and hiding? Most zombie flicks skip right to the post-apocalypse, but this had a chance to actually show it from the start and they failed miserably.

  7. Bring on the sequel!

  8. I’ve said this before, but even though I liked World War Z, it wasn’t a movie that I even had a thought in my mind about a potential sequel for it. It’s really not a movie that needs a sequel, and I’m not looking forward to one. If they come up with an interesting idea, I’ll watch it, but as of now it’s not something I plan on seeing.

    But at least Marc Forster won’t come back, that’s good. Sorry, I still haven’t forgiven him for giving us one of the worst James Bond movies ever.

    • Me neither, I don’t really need a World War Z sequel, even if I enjoyed the first film. Though it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do it, if the trailer looks good, I’ll keep an eye on it. They just have to convince everyone.

  9. Looking forward to watching WWZ on Netflix…it is on my list. Looks like super-speed zombies could be fun.

  10. I liked the old Dawn of the Dead movie. I could relate to the fun of trying to survive a zombie invasion and bikers too at a shopping mall. Sounds like a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon!