Brad Pitt's long-planned 'World War Z' sequel is axed

Ben Arnold
Contributor
World War Z (Credit: Paramount)

The long-in-gestation sequel to Brad Pitt’s zombie action thriller World War Z has been shut down, according to reports.

Variety cites sources inside the production, which was to be directed by David Fincher, saying that a budget for the film could not be agreed upon.

Paramount, the studio which was set to make it, has declined to comment on the reports.

It’s not known precisely what budgetary issues caused the shutdown, but per Variety ‘the studio [was] becoming more and more uncomfortable with where it was headed’.

The Playlist, meanwhile, claims that the studio simply dragged its heels on properly committing to the project for too long.

Whether the production could be revived at a later date is not yet known.

The first movie, made in conjunction with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and Skydance Productions, was unleashed in 2013, and ended up making a respectable $540 million (around £420 million).

But when it did so, the studio breathed a sigh of relief.

(Credit: Paramount)

All talk prior to the film’s release was that it was set to be a disaster, having undergone weeks of expensive reshoots, and a complete re-write of its third act by Lost and Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof, and his writing partner Drew Goddard, who also penned Cloverfield.

The re-shoots caused the film’s budget to balloon to a reported $190 million, and likely more, with a huge zombie warfare sequence set in Moscow’s Red Square being cut from the movie completely.

It was also claimed at the time that Pitt, who also starred in the film, clashed with Quantum of Solace director Marc Foster during production.

But luckily, despite the massive issues behind the scenes, the film was a hit, though it received some pretty muted reviews.

A sequel had been in the pipeline ever since, thought to b part of an eventual trilogy, with J.A. Bayona attached at one time, and even a release date of June, 2017 being slated.

That was delayed, Bayona left due to other commitments, and Fincher was then appointed in June last year, with filming due to begin in June, 2019, with a new script from British writer Dennis Kelly, who penned Utopia for Channel 4.

According to The Playlist, the sequel had been staffed for shooting in five different countries, as well as a six-month shoot in Atlanta.

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