2013 was a good year for Brad Pitt; he not only won an Oscar for producing last year's Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave (which he also costarred in), but also headlined the first (lucrative) installment in a budding franchise, World War Z. The sequel to Pitt's zombie apocalypse thriller has been slow to develop over the past year - much slower than the infected creatures in the film move, anyway - but it may start picking up speed, now that it has a writer in place.
Juan Antonio Bayona is onboard to direct the currently-untitled World War Z sequel; his past, acclaimed work in the horror genre (The Orphanage) and the natural disaster genre (The Impossible) makes him a logical choice to helm a WWZ movie, which combines elements of both genres. However, between him working on Showtime's Gothic horror series Penny Dreadful and preparing to direct A Monster Calls for a Fall 2016 release, Bayona has likely been too busy of late to spend that much time plotting out Pitt's next zombie film.
Then again, seeing how the World War Z sequel has not had a screenwriter officially attached over the past year, there may've not been much more than shapeless plot ideas for Bayona to kick around - until now, that is, as Variety's sources are confirming that Paramount and Skydance have hired Oscar-nominated writer/director Steven Knight to get to work on a screenplay for the project.
Knight's body of work includes scripts for acclaimed social realism drama/thrillers by directors Stephen Frears (Dirty Pretty Things) and David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises); he's also fresh off his writing and directing the minimalist storytelling "experiment" Locke, which has also been celebrated for its creative accomplishments (read our review). Pitt is clearly impressed as well, having recently been linked to an "untitled WWII romantic thriller" scripted by Knight; it's certainly possible that the Hollywood star was partly responsible for bringing Knight over to the World War Z sequel.
All in all, the WWZ followup is shaping up nicely, between the talented behind the scenes crew members and Pitt, ready to reprise as highly-competent U.N. employee, Gerry Lane. The first installment left the door open for the battle between humanity and zombie-kind to continue - without feeling like a cliffhanger a la the film's original third act/ending - so, again, it'll be interesting to see what direction Knight (and his collaborators) take the story in.
Are you interested in seeing a World War Z sequel, assuming the plot is up to scratch? Or was the first movie enough, as far as getting your fix of globe-trotting zombie action is concerned?
We'll keep you posted on the status of the World War Z sequel.