WORLD WAR Z sequel loses its director Juan Antonio Bayana

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World War Z 2

That the first World War Z movie actually released and ended up as an entertaining and successful movie, was a surprise in itself given the difficulties they had with production of the first movie. Now despite having a seemingly stronger direction of where to go as a movie, bigger budget and potential to be a strong franchise, the sequel seems to be beset with some production troubles of its own.

It has been announced by Universal Pictures that the scheduled director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage, The Impossible) is no longer going to be able to direct the sequel as a result of timing:

Bayona is no longer able to make World War Z 2 this year, and it is our ambition to do so. He is a wonderful director and we hope to work with him soon.

Paramount and Plan B are due to start filming the sequel in the US summer this year (May-July) with a script already done by Steven Knight and rewritten by Dennis Kelly and will see Brad Pitt reprising the lead role. Their initial plan, along with Skydance Productions, was to have the equel in theaters by June 9, 2017 and Bayona apparently needed more time to work on his next film, A Monster Calls (by Focus Pictures), which has a planned opening date for October 14 of this year.

This leaves little time for the producers (Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Ian Bryce and David Ellerson) to find a new director for this film, but let’s hope that whomever they do find can maintain the intensity of the first film. World War Z had incredible suspense and although I thought the final act was a bit weak, it offered a lot of potential for an additional sequel to fulfill, which I’m hoping this does.

On a side note, comingsoon.net reports that Universal Pictures had previously offered the job of directing the upcoming Jurassic World sequel to Bayona and he had declined due to his commitment to the World War Z sequel. Will this change perhaps open him up to reconsidering that offer again – I look forward to seeing what comes of this.

Last Updated: January 13, 2016

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be out changing the world, but I'd rather be running, watching movies, playing games and writing here instead.

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