World War Z Star Still Holds Out Hope for a Sequel

Mireille Enos remains hopeful a World War Z sequel reanimates after being canceled by Paramount Pictures, saying it would be "such a shame" if the David Fincher-directed zombie movie never gets made. The long-delayed followup to director Marc Forster's 2013 blockbuster would reunite Enos with frequent Fincher collaborator Brad Pitt, who also produced the first film via his Plan B banner after securing the rights to the novel penned by Max Brooks. World War Z ended with Pitt's character, former U.N. employee Gerry Lane, reuniting with wife Karin (Enos) and their two daughters after scouring the globe for answers behind a mysterious zombie pandemic.

"It seems to have a little curse hanging over it," Enos told Variety. "We were all lined up to go. We had Fincher, we had a beautiful script and then it just didn't happen."

Paramount first announced plans for World War Z 2 in June 2013, attaching J.A. Bayona (The Impossible) later that year. Bayona exited the Steven Knight-scripted sequel in early 2016 due to other commitments, and Paramount recruited Fincher in June 2017. Following a report WWZ2 was ramping up for a summer 2019 shooting start, with plans to film in Georgia, Spain, and Thailand, the sequel was first reported dead in February 2019.

According to The Playlist, who broke the news, a "tentative" Paramount pulled the plug in part because of budget; it was speculated a pair of costly Mission: Impossible sequels shooting back-to-back was a factor in the decision. A 2019 story from The Hollywood Reporter, citing sources, named China's government-mandated ban on zombie movies as the "single biggest reason" Paramount refused to spend $200 million on Pitt and Fincher's WWZ2.

"It seems like such a shame for it not to be made," Enos told Variety. "The first one was so good."

The first film grossed $540 million from a reported budget of $269 million, a number that includes $20 million for reshoots and one that is refuted by Paramount, making it the 13th highest-grossing movie of 2013. In 2014, Deadline reported World War Z "barely broke even" when considering its $160 million marketing spend and Pitt's first-dollar gross deal.

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Earlier this year, producer Jeremy Kleiner said a followup would happen "someday."

"We love Max Brooks' book," he told THR. "We love the universe of it. It doesn't feel like World War Z is done and over with."