Juan Antonio Bayona, the Spanish director of The Orphanage and The Impossible, has been chosen to direct the sequel to World War Z. THR has reported that the director was chosen from a “very short shortlist of directors” that were being looked at to helm a sequel to the surprise box-office hit.
World War Z’s troubled production was highly publicised. The film went way over budget, eventually costing a rumoured $220 million. The film still managed to work, bringing in around $540 million in worldwide box-office receipts. Part of the production’s problems had to do with a third act that was eventually scrapped in favour of a more contained conclusion. Therein, we assume, lies the hurdle for the next film.
World War Z’s original ending was more sequel-friendly, with Brad Pitt’s character fighting zombies in Russia while his wife is held captive by a military leader, presumably why Matthew Fox appeared in such a small role as a “Parajumper”. The sequel would have followed Pitt’s rescue attempt of his wife. The re-worked ending basically closed off the overall plot.
It will be interesting to see what they come up with in terms of plot-extension.
Juan Antonio Bayona is to oversee the writing and development of the sequel.