Paramount’s planned sequel to 2013’s successful zombie apocalypse thriller World War Z will have to find a new director, according to Deadline. Note that “successful” is meant in terms of financials, rather than a successful adaptation of Max Brooks’ zombie source material.
Juan Antonio Bayona has reportedly dropped out due to conflicts between a recent project and Paramount’s release date deadline for the Z sequel. Although the studio was hard pressed to meet its 2017 early summer release date, Bayona needed more time to fulfill commitments on A Monster Calls, which he recently shot.
It was announced back in December of 2013 that Juan Antonio Bayona would direct the follow up to World War Z, which earned $202 million domestically and $540 million worldwide for Paramount and Skydance Productions. The director met with star and producer Brad Pitt before getting the job, and appeared to be a seemingly good fit considering Bayona’s resume.
The director’s past work includes the Guillermo del Toro-produced The Orphanage, and The Impossible, a true story about the devastating tsunami that hit southeast Asia back in 2004.
World War Z starred Brad Pitt as a United Nations employee who travels around the globe attempting to stop a zombie plague, and is based on the popular novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Pitt is also meant to star in the sequel scheduled to hit theaters on June 9, 2017, but if it doesn’t get a new director soon that release date can be expected to change.