Film studios typically like to strike while the iron is hot, noticing what movies become big successes and immediately rushing sequels into production. A follow-up to the 2013 zombie film World War Z, which earned more than $540 million worldwide, seemed like it would be a sure thing, though recent reports are pushing production of the film back into 2019.
Earlier this year, the Brad Pitt-starring film was delayed from its original shooting date to this fall to accommodate the actor appearing in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The sequel, which is slated to be directed by David Fincher, doesn't have a finished script and, with the announcement that Fincher will begin production on Season 2 of the Netflix series Mindhunter, we shouldn't expect the filmmaker to move forward on the project until sometime next year, at the earliest.
It seems fitting that the World War Z sequel would suffer multiple delays and development woes, as the first film went through its fair share of difficulties.
Based on the Max Brooks novel of the same name, production on the adaptation began in 2011 with a budget of $125 million. The film's planned finale required a large array of firearms, which were confiscated by authorities in Budapest after the production failed to properly declare the props with the local government, which resulted in the film being delayed into the following year.
LOST co-creator Damon Lindelof was tapped to re-write the film's third act in 2012, only to depart the project before writing an ending. Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard then stepped in to finish writing the film, though his new ending required nearly 40 minutes of new footage to form a more cohesive narrative.
After all the re-shoots, the production budget ended up totaling closer to $200 million. The film had intended to hit theaters in December of 2012 and was eventually released in the summer of 2013. Despite all these starts, stops, and alterations, the film went on to earn $540 million worldwide, making it a success.
Other than Fincher and Pitt being attached, there's little else known about the film, possibly signaling a lack of interest from all parties involved.
"World War Z? We’re trying. A lot of stones have been laid," Fincher shared with Little White Lies last year of the film's status. "We’re just deconstructing it right now against the mythology that exists to see where we can go."
Stay tuned for any updates on the status of the World War Z sequel.
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