If its original scheduling had held up, we would have seen the sequel to Brad Pitt's World War Z released last June. But, as fate is a fickle thing, and David Fincher is ready to drop any project with the slightest whisper of the word Mindhunter, anyone who's still looking forward to World War Z 2 is going to be waiting for quite some time. With the numerous delays the film has suffered, as well as the fact that one of those delays was due to a change in director, one really has to wonder if this film will ever truly happen. If we're being honest, it probably should die its final death, leaving the property to be treated with the respect it deserved in the first place.
Let's face it: World War Z, no matter how much money it made, was a failure. Turning a massively scoped story of the zombie apocalypse, in all of its bloody, violent glory, into a PG-13 summer blockbuster was the first mistake that the 2013 film made. The second mistake was to hand the film to a director like Marc Forster, who, while being able to handle more personal films quite well, isn't exactly the most stable hands to give an action-packed spectacular as World War Z. Which brings us to the film's greatest failing: it failed to bring author Max Brooks' original, episodic vision to life in a way that honored the source material.
Despite all of those failures, World War Z 2 could have righted the ship, while continuing the story of Brad Pitt's Gerry and his quest to chronicle the great war against the undead. Either director that's been linked to the project would have been game to do so too, as Juan Antonio Bayona and David Fincher both have unique skill sets that could make this sequel into something worth watching. However, the fact that so many years have passed between World War Z and our current age is something that would make such an enterprise all the harder to pull off.
If you're going to make a sequel that's supposed to turn a series around, time is your enemy. With an initial entry like World War Z occupying that weird grey zone of monetary success and opinionated disaster, the quicker you can deliver a potentially killer follow-up, the better. So if World War Z 2's development moved as fast as an Infected from 28 Days Later, we might be talking about how that film proved the haters wrong, and how Max Brooks' book could truly act as a cinematic thrill ride. Sadly, that's not the case, as this film has stumbled through several years of setbacks, allowing five years of zombie media to flood the market with varying degrees of product.
Of course, the fact that World War Z 2 is suffering from a production as troubled, if not more so, than its predecessor is another strike against it. It was already enough of a disaster to produce the first film, especially considering the entire third act had to be rewritten and reshot. Going through this new set of growing pains only makes this franchise's development look more awkward, and that just kills any sort of buzz hiring a director like David Fincher might have brought this film. Though while we're on the subject of Fincher, World War Z 2 might present a problem the director is familiar with, and honestly should never be subjected to ever again: studio meddling.
As singular as David Fincher's vision is, let's not forget that World War Z 2 is a Paramount picture, and that studio is currently in a rather desperate moment. Their theatrical slate is of a moderate output, and a sequel to a film as moderately successful as World War Z is going to look like a potential ticket to big time movie bucks to the right executives. Those sorts of movies are the ones that get focus tested and studio noted to death, and while the studio undoubtedly trusts its director, you could bet that there is going to be things the powers that be will want to be done their way.
Ultimately, it all boils down to one, simple truth: World War Z should have never been a film. The narrative is too fractured to be stuffed into one film, and it's too raw and brutal to be a PG-13 blockbuster. If it became a limited series on Netflix or HBO, it'd probably be better off, though if World War Z absolutely has to be a movie, then taking a story like the Battle of Yonkers and turning it into a real-time account of that infamous event would be a better route to go. No matter how you slice it, the truth is that a sequel to Marc Forster's vision of World War Z is a really bad idea. Let it shamble into a field, where it can take its final headshot and be left to decompose into fertilizer for a potential new incarnation.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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