‘World War Z’ Sequel Could Be Delayed Until 2019

By February 7, 2017

The cancellation of the Friday the 13th reboot sequel just months before its release has turned some upcoming film scheduling upside down. Not only has a mystery drama from Darren Aronofsky found a release date, but another high-profile sequel is suddenly left without one.

Paramount Pictures had planned Friday the 13th to open on Oct. 13, according to Dark Horizons, which by the way is indeed a Friday. It would have shared the wide release spotlight with Liam Neeson’s The Commuter, the Thurgood Marshall biopic Marshall and The Snowman, based on the novel by Jo Nesbo.

Taking its place now, however, is Mother from Aronofsky, who earned a director Oscar nomination for 2010’s Black Swan. That film stars The Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence, The Revenant‘s Domnhall Gleeson and Michele Pfeiffer.

Losing its schedule slot was the sequel to the 2013 hit World War Z, which has languished without a director, and apparently a viable script.

This has been expected for many months as a director has yet to be found since J.A. Bayona’s departure. The studio still intends to produce the film, but a 2019 release is looking a likely prospect at this point.

Two years is a massive delay for a film that waited four years to release a sequel to begin with, and suggests Paramount is going back to the drawing board once again.

World War Z 2 had been scheduled for June 9, which would’ve pitted Paramount’s horror property against the one from Universal Pictures – The Mummy.

The only thing that had been certain about the zombie apocalypse movie is that star Brad Pitt would return. World War Z earned $531.5 million at the global box office in 2013.

It finished just outside the top 10 films of the year worldwide, partially because of its OK (but solid) $202.4 million domestic haul.

Paramount, which struggled last year to get a solid foothold among the major studios, stumbled into 2017. Its nine films on the market since the beginning of the year is more than any other studio, but it’s averaging just $13.8 million per film, according to The Numbers, and is just ahead of Lionsgate, which has released only three movies (at $38.4 million a pop).

Universal has had a solid start to 2017, earning $227.6 million from four films ($56.9 million each), led mostly by M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, which has now grossed $98.5 million domestically, and $142.5 million worldwide.

Paramount is taking the rest of February off, and is not set to release its next film until March 31 when its high-profile Ghost in the Shell finally premieres, starring Scarlett Johansson.

It’s not clear yet if any of the studios – including Paramount – will move to fill the spot formerly held by World War Z 2, but it’s likely no one will let Universal go unchallenged with The Mummy.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.