Juan Antonio Bayona Tapped to Direct ‘World War Z’ Sequel

By December 11, 2013
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After well-publicized production troubles, a bevy of reshoots, and the complete abandonment of its source material, World War Z finally hit theaters earlier this summer and it was, well, it was just okay. The film came with a hefty price tag, but it did manage to pull in over a half billion dollars in worldwide box office returns and it got somewhat solid reviews, so while it was earmarked as a disaster before it even hit screens, it wasn’t actually a disaster. So let’s make a sequel!

THR reports that Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions have booked director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage) to helm the second film in the fledgling franchise because, let’s be real here, there was no way director Marc Forster was going to return.

Star Brad Pitt is set to return to the project in at least one capacity – he will again produce through his Plan B banner, though it has not been announced if he will also star in the feature. The rest of the potential cast has also not been announced.

JAB

As of now, the film also does not have any writers attached – the first film was penned by Matthew Michael Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski, with a slew of rewrites and additions by talents like Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof – but Bayona will reportedly “oversee the writing process.”

Bayona’s horror-heavy background seems like a real plus when it comes to such a feature, considering it is, at its heart, a zombie flick. Bayona may also be able to help trim down big budget problems – his fact-based tsunami film, The Impossible, was made for around $40m and still managed to fill the screen with believable, terrifying footage (and make its budget back nearly five times over). World War Z could certainly benefit from that kind of money-minding practicality, if only as it applies to the kind of bad publicity the first film got for its ever-expanding budget.

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss, Film.com, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.