The wait to see David Fincher direct a blockbuster just got longer. Many were intrigued by the news last year that Paramount was courting the Social Network filmmaker to direct a World War Z sequel. Even more curious, Fincher was apparently interested in the gig, likely owing to his relationship with star/producer Brad Pitt. The filmmaker addressed the news last fall, saying he hopes to make the film but also acknowledging that it’s all dependent on the script.
There was hope on Paramount’s side that World War Z 2 would be ready to shoot sometime in 2018, but apparently that’s not going to happen. The Playlist reports that the World War Z 2 script is still in development, and while some scouting has taken place in Bilbao, Spain, Sweden, and Texas, Fincher has instead decided to focus his directorial energy on Mindhunter Season 2. Production on the Netflix series is set to begin later this month, and that’ll occupy the director’s time all the way through the rest of this year, so there’s no chance World War Z 2 will get in front of cameras before 2018 is over.
Additionally, Pitt’s schedule wasn’t looking good for a 2018 shoot either. He recently shot James Gray’s sci-fi film Ad Astra and this summer will be filming Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, so his schedule’s pretty booked up.
Steven Knight (Locke) and Dennis Kelly (Utopia) wrote drafts of World War Z 2 but The Playlist is unsure who’s working on the drafts now. Paramount wants this to happen, and it appears Fincher does too, but until the script is right this won’t be happening. And as that development drones on it starts to feel less likely that Fincher might actually direct this thing. He’s come close to helming a blockbuster before, most notably with Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but he clashed with the studio over the script’s direction and casting. Fincher is the kind of director who’s not afraid to walk away from a project if he feels he’s being forced to make concessions that will harm his vision (see: Steve Jobs), so this one’s teetering on 50/50 now.
As a huge fan of Fincher’s and of Pitt’s, and as someone who would love to see what Fincher could do with a massive budget, I’m hoping this works out. We’ll find out eventually, but at least we have new Mindhunter to look forward to.