New Paramount Pictures chairman Jim Gianopulos confirmed in an interview that David Fincher has in fact signed on to direct World War Z 2. We reported in April that the filmmaker had entered talks to direct, following months of rumors about the director’s involvement in this long-gestating sequel. Brad Pitt will reprise his role as Gerry Lane from 2013’s World War Z, although no other cast members have been confirmed at this time.
During a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, his first since taking over as the head of Paramount Pictures, Jim Gianopulos revealed that, “We’re in advanced development,” although no further details were given. With David Fincher now confirmed, this marks his first film since 2014’s Gone Girl, and also his fourth film with Brad Pitt, following Se7en (1995), Fight Club (1999) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). The studio hasn’t announced a production schedule or release date, but this project has certainly turned itself around in just a few months.
Back in February, Paramount delayed World War Z 2 indefinitely, yanking the movie from its June 9, 2017 release date and not issuing a new date at this time. We reported in August 2016 that Brad Pitt, who also serves as a producer on the sequel, had been meeting with several directors, but he was “zeroing in” on David Fincher. While the director was reportedly hesitant about taking on the project, he entered talks to direct, and we reported in April that both the studio and director were close to finalizing their deal, which has now been closed. Director J.A. Bayona was at one point attached to direct, but he went on to make A Monster Calls, before eventually dropping the project.
World War Z 2 writer Steven Knight, who came aboard to write the script in 2014, revealed in early 2015 that this sequel “is not quite like the other,” while teasing that this follow-up, “starts with a clean slate.” The writer would not clarify those comments, and since no story details have been given yet, it remains to be seen how this sequel will wipe the slate clean from the original. The first movie centered around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself. The original movie featured a supporting cast that also included Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox, David Morse, Elyes Gable and Peter Capaldi.
With the project still in “advanced development,” it remains unclear if the studio is still working from Steven Knight’s script for the World War Z sequel, or if other writers have been brought in for the project. Before taking on this movie, David Fincher had been keeping busy on the small screen, developing Mindhunter for Netflix, where he also directed the first two episodes, along with the season finale. He is also slated to executive produce Sony’s The Girl In the Spider’s Web, which reboots the Lizbeth Salander story. Hopefully we’ll find out more about World War Z 2 soon.