After surviving a hailstorm of reports about troubled production days and scrapped script drafts, it was a pleasant surprise when World War Z emerged to a very solid $533 million at the worldwide box office. It was by no means certain that a follow-up would see the projector’s light, but Brad Pitt talked about the idea in Toronto this past September and the film now has a real, live director in the shape of The Impossible’s Juan Antonio Bayona.
After deftly and sensitively handling the tsunami drama with both its attendant scope and focus on the human side of a disaster, Bayona seems like a fine choice to handle any Zee-quel (or should it Zed-quel?). He got the job over several other candidates after a meeting with Pitt, who both starred in and produced the first World War Z, directed by Marc Forster, and will pull double duty on this one.
The biggest challenge will be continuing the story, which at the end of the first movie saw a scientific breakthrough for avoiding the zombie contagion and Pitt’s UN expert Gerry Lane reunited with his family. There will likely be more clashes to come, and with so little of the book’s goodness tapped for the screen, we’re hoping some of the best elements might finally make their way into a new script: the development of the "Lobo" and its use against the zombies might be cool (although would that do it against these insane sprinters?), and we'd love to see a few of the book's set pieces.
Bayona will supervise the process of tracking down a new writer (or, let’s be honest, writers) and generating a script.