'World War Z.'
(Paramount Pictures)

Sorry About That Sequel, ‘World War Z’ Fans

Riding the wave of the zombie revival, the 2013 action-horror film World War Z was commercially one of the best-performing films of that year, managing to rake in $540 million worldwide.

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Fans of the Marc Foster film had been anticipating a sequel for years, since it was announced shortly after the first film’s release, but it was unfortunately canceled in 2019 citing budget issues. As things stand, World War Z won’t have a sequel, and it remains canceled. Since then, there has been understandable bewilderment at the decision to shelve the second part, primarily due to two factors: the presence of a bankable star in the form of Brad Pitt, and secondly, the first film being the highest-grossing zombie film ever.

Meant to be part of a trilogy, the second installment in the World War Z franchise was expected to start filming in March 2019, with Spain, Thailand, and Atlanta being some of the earmarked locations. Paramount was attached to produce, but the studio eventually decided to pull the plug and divert their resources towards the Mission Impossible franchise. In hindsight, it can be said that it was a wise call, considering a 2019 production could have led to a summer 2020 release, which was arguably the worst performing year ever in terms of box office numbers.

Brad Pitt was slated to both return as the lead and produce, with Mireille Enos reprising her role as his character’s wife. At one point, David Fincher was linked with direction duties, but he later expressed a sigh of relief when the project was canned. J.A. Bayona (Society of the Snow) was the first choice of the studio, and it wouldn’t be controversial to suggest that he probably would have been better suited to helm the project than Fincher, considering the potential pace and action sequences of the film.

Lately, Hollywood has been extra careful with regards to budgeting, and even films with blockbuster potential have run into problems. While franchises like Dune have been able to survive, owing to the mass support they get, some are relatively less lucky. World War Z 2 can be put in the latter category, as the decision to cancel it was taken entirely from a financial standpoint.


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Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.