For some time, rumors have swirled around a sequel to the troubled but ultimately successful 2013 zombie movie World War Z. Brad Pitt was set to return as the franchise’s star, and he’d reportedly brought David Fincher onto the project as director. However, it’s been years since that news first emerged, and delays have plagued the project ever since.
Fast forward to 2019, and World War Z 2 (the World War Zequel, if you will) is all but on life support. Variety reports that Paramount had slated the film to begin shooting in the summer, but recently pulled the film from its production schedule. The report states that unspecified budget concerns were the cause of the production freeze, as sources told the trade that the studio was “becoming more and more uncomfortable with where it was headed.”
Variety also notes that the original film had similar budget issues. Producers infamously had to bring Damon Lindelof on to rewrite the third act at the last minute because as the cost continued to inflate. While film managed to weather that budgetary storm to gross $540 million worldwide, the studio wasn’t willing to take that same risk with the sequel.
The project was reportedly looking to add to the cast when the decision to halt was made. According to the anonymous sources cited, there are questions about “whether this film will go back into development or be completely shelved as the studio tries to figure out if the sequel is possible with the right budget.” For now, however, it seems WWZ will stay dead for the foreseeable future. And considering that the original benefited from arriving near the height of cultural zombie-mania, it might just be for the best.
But for those clawing for an undead sequel, there’s still Zombieland 2: Double Tap to look forward to.