David Fincher isn't really known for cranking out sequels to existing franchises (Alien 3, notwithstanding). And Brad Pitt's generally immune to sequels, as well (the Ocean's franchise, notwithstanding). But when the two of them agree to do a sequel together? We sit up and take notice.
In a longer profile on new Paramount chief Jim Gianopulos, it has been confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter that David Fincher officially has signed on to direct World War Z 2, with Brad Pitt in the leading role. That's literally all that is given in the profile, as Gianopulos states "we're in advanced development" on the sequel, then confirms that Fincher and Pitt are involved.
This has been the rumor for some time. We have stories going back almost a year that link the Fight Club and Zodiac director to the open chair for World War Z 2, a sequel to a surprise hit for Brad Pitt and his Plan B Entertainment. We say surprise because the party line on the original World War Z was that it was destined to be a disaster. There's no point in dredging up all the production issues that the movie ran into, because when it finally opened, the film was a success. Reshoots and rewrites on the zombie-apocalypse thriller had worked -- even though they attracted negative headlines for the movie -- and as the box office receipts climbed north of $540 million worldwide, the talk of a franchise began.
There's a reason. The source material, a book by novelist Max Brooks, followed the aftermath of a global zombie war, and followed numerous characters, all of whom had big-screen potential. If other directors wanted to plow this fertile horror field for new stories, there was thought to be a lot of narrative potential. Revisit the first movies trailer to see how it turned out:
So, this news begs the question of WHEN we might see World War Z 2, as directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt. As recently as a few months ago, the sequel still carried a 2017 summer release date. Clearly that's not happening. The sequel would even have to begin filming soon if it hoped to hit a 2018 release date... and the last time we checked, most key weekend in 2018 have been claimed by Marvel, DC and Star Wars movies. The safest bet for World War Z 2 likely will be 2019, though it could be a second-half drama, or a CGI-heavy summer blockbuster. With Fincher at the helm, even for a horror movie, we're leaning on the former.