From the “Uh, no shit” department comes today’s top headline: Marc Forster reportedly will not be back in the director’s chair if and when a World War Z sequel goes into production.
The nugget is buried in a puff-piece cover story The Hollywood Reporter wrote on Brad Pitt and his production company, Plan B Entertainment, as they prepare to open Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave following a very successful film-festival run. The trade officially writes:
Plan B also is developing a sequel to 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.’”
So no official quote on Forster’s status in the sequel. Just the confirmation of what we all believed: That despite the surprising success of the finished product, Pitt and Forster simply locked horns too many times for Paramount or the A-list star to ever consider bringing him back.
The on-set conflict became one of many running narratives as Word War Z worked its way to theaters. Co-writer Damon Lindelof gave an in-depth, blow-by-blow account of the chaos caused by the Pitt-Forster rift. (Read this and this if you need to catch up.) Of course, both played nice on the red carpets of the film’s various premieres, with Forster even saying at one point that if they continue the story, he’d like to listen to offers and possibly be a part.
Apparently we’re not going to get to that point.
So with Forster out, who should Pitt get to replace him? The director has an excellent working relationship with David Fincher. Maybe instead of allowing the Social Network director to plunge to great depths for a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake (which no one needs), Pitt can dangle a zombie thriller in front of his Se7en and Fight Club collaborator? There’s also, George A. Romero. Sorry, I’m kidding. But how about The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, or someone from that show? Darabont also directed one of the most underrated horror films from recent years, the reboot of The Mist.
There’s also no need to rush anything here. Paramount was pleasantly surprised that audiences flocked to World War Z. Now it can take its time and develop a solid sequel. Pitt does so few of them. Make sure it’s worth his while … and ours.