World War Z Sequel Finds A Director

Thanks to the epically troubled production process behind World War Z, it was a surprise to few when it was revealed back in October that director Marc Foster would not be returning for the announced sequel. Of course, that announcement made everyone wonder who would be hired as the filmmaker in charge of the production, and today The Hollywood Reporter has delivered the answer. The trade is reporting that Juan Antonio Bayona has been hired as the director of the untitled World War Z 2.

Bayona likely ended up on Paramount and Skydance Productions’ radar thanks to his last film, the Oscar-nominated The Impossible. While not exactly a summer blockbuster, the movie did feature a number of big screen thrills recreating the devastating tsunami that hit Southeast Asia back in 2004. The filmmaker’s big breakout, however, was the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror film The Orphanage, which arrived in the United States in 2008. You can watch trailers for both movies below:

What the World War Z sequel will be about remains a question mark. The first film was an extremely loose adaptation of Max Brooks' book of the same name (pretty much the only connection the movie had to the text), so it's hard to imagine that the literature is where the studio and Bayona will be looking for inspiration. The first ended with Brad Pitt’s character finding a cure for the zombie virus and reuniting with his wife and daughters, so it’s hard to say where the story could progress from there. The production is currently on the hunt for a writer, and THR says that the new director will be overseeing the scripting process. Perhaps they could go back to Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard?

The fact that we're getting a World War Z sequel shouldn't be a huge surprise given the success of the first movie. By the end of its run the film made $540 million worldwide, which was enough to make the reported $190 million budget worthwhile. The question, however, is whether or not we actually need a sequel to the global zombie thriller, considering the first one actually wrapped things up pretty well. Are you excited for World War Z 2? Do you think Bayona is a good choice to direct? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.