Paramount has delayed the start of filming on World War Z 2 again, in order to allow Brad Pitt room in his schedule to work on Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood first. The first World War Z movie managed to overcome a tumultuous production (one that saw its original third act entirely reshot), and became a commercial hit when it opened in theaters, back in 2013. A sequel was green-lit shortly thereafter, but nearly five years have passed since then and the film has yet to make it beyond pre-production.
After director Juan Antonio Bayona passed on the project to go make Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom instead, David Fincher was recruited to helm World War Z 2, reuniting him with his Se7en, Fight Club, and Curious Case of Benjamin Button star Pitt in the process. Fincher has been actively overseeing the World War Z sequel's script and "mythology" development since then, with tentative plans to begin shooting the movie this year. While it looks like that plan hasn't changed, it seems that production will be getting started later than previously expected.
Variety's Justin Kroll, commenting on the confirmation of Pitt's involvement with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, says that Paramount has pushed World War Z 2 to a "fall shoot" in order to accommodate Pitt's new schedule. That suggests that the studio is now eyeing the project for a 2020 theatrical release, presumably as a summer movie similar to its predecessor. World War Z 2 was scheduled to hit theaters in 2017 once upon a time, but has remained un-dated since Paramount pulled it from its official slate.
The significant time gap between World War Z movies is presumably being taken into account in the screenplay for the sequel. World War Z Part 1 ended with Pitt's character (former UN employee Gerry Lane) discovering a way to avoid being detected by zombies, leading to the creation of a vaccine that allows the living to "camouflage" themselves from the undead. It's plausible that World War Z 2 will pick up at a point where the zombie epidemic has been contained for years, only for the zombie virus to evolve and begin spreading again, with a vengeance.
There are obviously other places for the World War Z sequel to go in terms of story, given how much of Max Brooks' original novel wasn't covered in the first movie. Pitt and Fincher, for their part, have been trying to re-collaborate on a big-budget tentpole for years, after their planned 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake was canned by Disney. The actor/director pair has done great work in the past and could deliver something special with the World War Z followup too. Now, it just needs to actually make it past script development.
We'll keep you updated on World War Z 2's status as the story develops.
Source: Justin Kroll
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