David Fincher Latest Director to Take a Bite Out of ‘World War Z’ Sequel
Remember David Fincher? You know, the guy whose name shows up in the credits for House of Cards? He directed movies once upon a time in 2014, but the genre maestro has been taking it relatively easy since Gone Girl shocked and tantalized audiences a few years ago. As he’s busied himself with TV work (he recently shot the Mind Hunters pilot for filmmaker-poacher Netflix), he’s batted around the occasional film offer without making any hard commitments. There were rumors of a grand adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea floating around for a while there, but those dissipated when Fincher revealed that he was being courted to helm the sequel to zombie spectacle World War Z. One of those two things has now come to pass, and here’s a hint, it’s not the one that takes place underwater.
Variety reported last night that Fincher has all but signed on the dotted line for World War Z 2 after months of talks. Fincher last publicized his interest in the project in February, when he made it clear that he’d be open to working with longtime collaborator Brad Pitt and he hoped to tell a smaller-scale story in the zombie-infested post-apocalyptic wasteland of the first film. He’ll hopefully be the final director attached to this long-delayed project, which was initially intended for the original film’s Marc Forster, then shunted off onto Juan Antonio Bayona before descending into development hell. Despite his wariness over sequel films — memories of Alien 3 are still tender after all these years — Fincher has entered the picture as the franchise’s likely savior.
What the Variety item fails to address, however, is Paramount’s plan to work around the title World War Z 2, a mishmash of letters and numbers that looks like a typo any way you slice it. The most direct route would be what I call the Alvin and the Chipmunksification of the franchise and titling it World War Z: The Z-quel, but then that poses the question of what the third one will be called. The simple Z3? Is this all being a Hollywood executive is, just titling sequels?