The ongoing game to get a “World War Z” sequel up and running continues. This week, “Beautiful Boy” producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner provided an update. They say the film is in the works, David Fincher is still attached to direct, Brad Pitt attached to star and Brad Kelly, who worked with Fincher previously on the failed remake of “Utopia” for HBO (now set up at Amazon without Fincher), is writing the script.
READ MORE: ‘World War Z 2’ Not Shooting This Fall; David Fincher’s ‘Mindhunter’ Season 2 Is Next
“We’re starting to shoot in June,” Gardner said. “What more do you need to know? Brad Pitt is Gerry Lane. He’s back. David Fincher is directing.”
READ MORE: Andrew Dominik & The Directors Of David Fincher’s ‘Mindhunter’ Season 2 Revealed
I guess Gerry Lane is a household name now? A zombie/virus/outbreak action drama, “World War Z” hit theaters via Paramount Pictures in 2013 under serious duress. One of the most maligned productions of this decade so far—at least publicly, given all the details that spilled about its runaway production—”World War Z” was expected to be a hugely expensive flop.
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Instead, “World War Z” would go on to gross $540 million worldwide, a massive hit for Paramount (though not necessarily a colossal moneymaker given that the budget, after extensive reshoots, was rumored to hit around $350 million).
READ MORE: ‘World War Z’ Endings: The Bloody Battle In Russia Vs. Damon Lindelof’s Rewrite, What Was Changed & Why
Rumors at the time said production was such a mess that Pitt and director Marc Forster (“Quantum Of Solace“) stopped speaking to each other. The entire third act of “World War Z” was shot, but then eventually thrown out. Instead, Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof were brought on board to fix and rewrite the entire ending of the film.
Their last minute triage work—production shut down while producers and writers tried to “figure out” the movie—was so invasive, they both earned screenwriter credits despite the hard WGA rules that generally tend to favor the original writers and not those brought on as re-writers after production has begun.
I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high just yet. A “World War Z” has been in the works for almost five years now, and the film has been delayed and delayed—most recently when Fincher went on to direct and create two seasons of “Mindhunter” for Netflix while the writers figured out a story that would please Fincher, Pitt, and Paramount.
In the middle of all of this, Paramount chief Brad Grey died, an ally and former manager of Pitt. How that changed the leadership’s opinion of this costly franchise is unknown, but clearly Grey was on Pitt’s side.
Before Fincher, J.A. Bayona (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”) was attached to direct with a script written by Steven Knight (“Locke“). Earlier this year, premature reports said “World War Z” would shoot this fall, but we revealed exclusively that Fincher would be shooting “Mindhunter” season two instead and the production and post-production would take up the rest of the year (“Mindhunter” will debut on Netflix in 2019).
Fincher has yet to make a major tentpole film, though not for lack of trying. He mounted a “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” movie, with Brad Pitt of course, but it proved too adult and dark for Disney (and he also fought over the casting of Channing Tatum).
#BeautifulBoy producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner give a #WorldWarZ sequel update https://t.co/uCeXloik7j pic.twitter.com/JMAAIH6xWo
— Variety (@Variety) October 9, 2018