A plot revolving around zombies has been a staple in Hollywood for decades now. World War Z, a horror zombie-apocalypse movie directed by Marc Forster from 2013 starring Brad Pitt (Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) in the lead role as Gerry Lane and based on the 2006 Max Brooks bestselling novel of the same name, was, by most all accounts, a great success, and a great zombie movie. The hit film was met with mixed but not negative reviews, and it grossed more than $540 million worldwide, almost double its original budget. The film was not winning any awards, but its imagery and action captured audiences around the world and had them clamouring for a sequel, World War Z2, from Paramount Pictures.
The rest of the cast also included Abigail Hargrove as Rachel Lane, Danielle Kertesz as Segen, Elyes Gabel as Andrew Fassbach, Fana Mokoena as Thierry Umutoni, James Badge Dale as Captain Speke, Ludi Boeken as Jurgen Warmbrunn, Michiel Huisman as Ellis, Mireille Enos as Karin Lane, Sterling Jerins as Constance Lane, and World Health Organisation Doctors including Peter Capaldi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ruth Negga, and Moritz Bleibtreu.
The story was incredibly original, telling the tale of a zombie invasion where not only could the zombies move incredibly fast, (more like the running, jumping and climbing undead), but the undead hordes could sense when someone had a disease that would make them an enviable host for the zombie virus. This results in the main character doing some globe-trotting to try and find a way to make the world somewhat safe again.
All of this is why it came as a bit of a shock when, recently, Paramount Studios cancelled their plans for a highly anticipated sequel, World War Z 2, especially since World War Z co-producer Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner had been saying that shooting for the film could come any day now. World War Z 2 has been caught in development hell for some time. In December 2013, following the successful release of the first film in June, Juan Antonio Bayona, known for his work on A Monster Calls and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, was tapped to direct the second film, with a release date of 2017, and Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) or Dennis Kelly were said to be screenwriting for the film. However, these plans fell through quickly, and the film was not even in production by the end of 2017.
Next, acclaimed director David Fincher was tied to the project, and filming on World War Z 2 was once again slated to start in 2019. However, in February of that year, after six years of manoeuvring and pre-production, the film was officially cancelled, in part because of China’s ban on films depicting zombies or ghosts.
And so, while we’re excited to see what both Fincher and Bayona do while not tied down to a franchise, it really was a mistake to cancel the sequel to World War Z. For one, the world is still rich with stories to tell, and many fans are clamouring to see other parts of the world following the events of the first film.
Additionally, there’s an aspect of the franchise that is all too familiar to viewers around the world now — remember, the catalyst for half the world turning into zombies is a contagious virus. In the right hands, World War Z 2 could be a fascinating and impactful mediation on the havoc that COVID-19 has wreaked in recent months. A sequel has the opportunity to be emotionally impactful, something that the first film certainly struggled with a bit.
David Fincher Confirmed As The Director Of World War Z 2
In an interview with Variety, star of the first film Mireille Enos expressed her interest in returning to the World War Z franchise as well. She also spoke of her disappointment in the fact that World War Z 2 never materialised as planned.
“We were all lined up to go,” Enos said on The Big Ticket podcast. “We had Fincher, we had a beautiful script and then it just didn’t happen. It seems like such a shame for it not to be made. The first one was so good.”
So, if the actors and the fans both want it, hopefully a World War Z sequel can still be made. We think it should be, and we’re excited to return to the world of the first film as soon as possible.
Brad Pitt’s World War Z might not be the first film horror fans think about when they name an iconic zombie flick, but that doesn’t mean that this unique adaptation doesn’t deliver on its premise. Its focus on heavy action – and its great moments of compelling character drama – have turned the film into a cult classic now: almost ten years after its original release.
The mere idea of a World War Z 2 sounds like an undead creature in and of itself. Last we knew, the project suffered a devastating blow in 2018, leaving things uncertain for the franchise’s future. Even Wikipedia lists the film as the “cancelled sequel.”
However, that doesn’t mean that the franchise is dying. World War Z refuses to go down, proving even more popular than ever, thanks to a renewed interest in the original novel and a recent video game release. Let’s take a look at the things we’d love to see in a potential World War Z 2!
The Healing Process
As we all should know, lowering your guard for a split second could prove fatal: doubly so when the sickness turns you into an undead.
By the film’s ending, things are looking up for regular humans: the new vaccine essentially renders them invisible to the zombies, giving them a fighting chance against the undead.
However, I’d like to see more of how this vaccine is supposed to reach every person in the world. Considering these zombies can run and even catch helicopters, things could get hairy pretty quickly for Pitt and co. in the sequel.
Let’s pretend, for the sake of this hypothetical debate, that Brad Pitt doesn’t return for a World War Z sequel. It would matter very little to the overall narrative, though, as the true protagonist in Max Brook’s novel is, effectively, the world.
How much has the world changed since zombies became a reality? That’s something that some George Romero films addressed in the past and would be a logical next step for a series such as World War Z.
An Adaptation of Brook’s Style
Long-time fans of the World War Z novel might have been a bit disappointed by what they saw on the big screen in the movie. The action-heavy flick harbours few similarities with the book – even if it had to change the novel’s narrative style to appeal to a broader audience.
A sequel could go for a more restrained storytelling approach – one that more closely follows the interview style of the original novel. It could also work as an anthology film, showcasing different tales of survival in a post-zombie world.
Not only would this appease the more disgruntled fans of the novel, but it would also offer a more unique approach to the zombie genre that might even be appreciated by horror fans seeking something fresh.
There’s still a slim chance of World War Z 2 becoming a reality, in some way or another. All the points we discussed before could easily apply to any form of continuation of the 2013 film, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope we don’t have to wait too long for some answers from the zombie apocalypse!
There is no doubt that horror movie fans would love to see a World War Z 2, and if Paramount isn’t willing to do it, there is always a possibility that Brad Pitt’s own production team at Plan B, with co-producer of the original film as president of the company, could be the ones to do it.
At the moment, it seems unlikely that World War Z 2 will ever be released. The film was originally set for release in June 2017, but it has since been postponed multiple times. In February 2019, it was reported that the film had been cancelled, and there has been no news of a release date since then.
Why Was World War Z 2 Cancelled?
The reasons for the cancellation of World War Z 2 are not entirely clear. However, there are several factors that may have contributed to the decision. One of the main factors is believed to be budget concerns. The first World War Z film had a budget of $190 million, and it was not a huge box office success. While it did manage to make a profit, it was not enough to justify the cost of making a sequel.
In addition to budget concerns, there were also creative differences between the studio and the filmmakers. In an interview with Variety, director David Fincher stated that the studio was not willing to take a risk on the film, and that the project had been “stalled”. It is unclear what exactly the creative differences were, but it seems that the studio and the filmmakers were not on the same page.
Was World War Z a Flop?
Despite its budget and production issues, World War Z was actually a box office success. The film grossed over $540 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing zombie films of all time. However, the film did receive mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. While some praised the film for its intense action and suspenseful moments, others criticized it for straying too far from the source material and for its lack of character development.
In conclusion, it seems that World War Z 2 is unlikely to ever be released. While the first film was a box office success, budget concerns and creative differences have likely led to the cancellation of the sequel. While fans of the first film may be disappointed, there are still plenty of other great zombie movies out there to enjoy.