The Playlist was the first to report the news that Paramount Pictures is halting production on David Fincher‘s ‘World War Z’ sequel.
The budget of the film was an issue of contempt between the filmmakers and the studio. While Fincher and his team were originally offering something less than the budget of the previous film, it seems this was not the case. Some have suggested the project was aiming above the budget of the first film’s $190 million (pre-reshoots).
Marc Forster’s ‘World War Z’ went way over budget after reshoots. The film reportedly cost upwards of $250 million, and production had to stop to fix the ending. Damon Lindelof is the one widely known for “saving the film” amongst the several writers hired.
Meanwhile, Paramount has seemingly been adamant about going through with this film over the past year. It comes off as no surprise the studio took the action that would prevent buyer’s remorse, and stopped production altogether. Just recently they set summer dates for the seventh and eighth ‘Mission Impossible’ films, so that IP clearly took priority over a belated sequel.
The history of the ‘World War Z’ sequel:
The long-gestating sequel was originally going to be directed by J.A. Bayona (‘The Impossible,’ ‘A Monster Calls’). But, he decided to leave the project and direct ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.’ He gave the reason of a rushed timetable for why he left. Later, the film’s June 9, 2017 release date was removed from Paramount’s schedule.
The film tried to solidify a new release date, but it never firmly made a return to the schedule. Fincher alum Brad Pitt began to lure the famous director onto the project back in August 2016. Then, a few months later, Fincher agreed and went on a search for writers to craft a new script. Dennis Kelly was later hired to rewrite the script from Steven Knight (‘Peaky Blinders,’ ‘Taboo’). Kelly is the creator and writer of the original U.K. ‘Utopia’ series, which Fincher nearly adapted for HBO. That project is now being developed by Gillian Flynn and Amazon.
‘World War Z 2’ (which never even got a title by the way) was roughly aiming for a summer shoot. March and June were being bounced around as filming starts, but nothing was definitive. The film was gaining staff for an extensive shoot this year, across five different countries and with a six-month shoot in Atlanta. But in the end, the film never actually got the greenlight, and none of these hires were officially made. It is said Brad Pitt is not pleased with this situation.
The first ‘World War Z’ is now six years old, meaning the brand is only going to detoritate as time goes on (as if it hasn’t already). Pitt tried his best to get Fincher freed up to direct so Paramount could greenlight the movie, with no avail.
Paramount is desperate for big franchise films, with ‘Transformers’ trying to make a comeback, and the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles‘ getting another reboot. So far, ‘Mission: Impossible’ and ‘A Quiet Place’ have been their saving grace IPs.
Fincher is still in the editing bay for Netflix’s ‘Mindhunter’ season two. Perhaps after that he will move onto a new project, as he is now long overdue for his next feature film.
It is currently unknown whether ‘World War Z 2’ will go back into development or be completely shelved. Paramount could try to figure out if the sequel is possible with the right budget. But at this point, it seems like a lost cause, and truly dead now.
Source: The Playlist