Brad Pitt’s ‘World War Z’ Sequel Loses Juan Antonio Bayona as Director

Juan Antonio Bayona World War Z
Francis Silva/DYDPPA/REX Shutterstock

Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona has stepped down from directing Brad Pitt’s sequel to “World War Z” for Paramount.

The studio disclosed Bayona’s departure late Monday, adding that it still plans to make the film this year. The film is scheduled for release on June 9, 2017.

“Because of pre-existing film commitments, Bayona is not able to make ‘World War Z’ this year, and it is our ambition to do so,” Paramount said. “He is a wonderful director and we hope to work with him soon.”

Pitt is producing “World War Z 2” with Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Ian Bryce. Bayona, whose credits include “A Monster Calls” and “The Impossible,” had been attached to direct since late 2013.

The original “World War Z” was directed by Marc Forster and was based on Max Brooks’ 2006 novel “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.” The screenplay was written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof from a screen story by Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski.

Pitt starred as a former United Nations investigator who must travel the world to find a way to stop a zombie pandemic. The movie over-performed with $540 million in worldwide grosses in 2013.

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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  1. Jimmy Dean says:

    The movie “adaptation” was a total disgrace to Max Brooks’ amazing and frankly touching book. I’m still so unhappy this movie ever got made, mainly because it casts such a poor light on the book and so many people have thus been dissuaded from picking up the genuine article. The only thing they kept from the original was about four lines of dialogue when the Israeli security dude is explaining Israel’s wall to Pitt. Everything else is complete nonsense. Even Israel’s wall stays up in the book, and it’s the only country that survives unscathed.

    The book is set a year or two after “official hostilities” have ended, and their is no narrator, just an interviewer who travels the world collecting stories from survivors of all stripes, from Patient Zero to reconstruction. It’s an homage to war oral histories, not an action novel, and even got an overwhelmingly positive review from the director of FEMA for the superb job Brooks did in describing a country collapsing and attempting to rebuild its security and infrastructure from the ground up.

    It should absolutely have been done in a miniseries format because there’s just so much material. And any fan of film, specifically horror, knows that changing the story mechanic between the slow undead and lightning-fast, leaping, absolute “I Am Legend” rip-offs will alter the fundamentals of the entire work. Biggest example: one of the most exciting moments from the book is the Battle of Yonkers, where troops with the most advanced weaponry are stationed in a bottleneck outside of NYC to do a big show for the media to reassure the public they have things under control. Pretty quickly they realize all their futuristic tech means nothing if you can’t nail a zed in its head, and the soldiers are faced with wave after wave of enemies. But they turn to full-fledged panic when their high-tech visual displays show a live satellite feed of a million zombies slowly eating their way directly to their position. Same thing when a zeppelin pilot has to watch a highway of stuck vehicles get overrun by shamblers who surround and eat people who can’t get out of their cars. This is the sort of visceral horror no amount of action-packed summer blockbuster CGI can deliver.

    So basically, I’m normally a fan, but screw you, Pitt.

    • Dave J. says:

      Brad Pitt’s most successful movie and you’re calling it terrible! If it was really that bad, it would not have garnered the money that it did, as well as brought new fans into the Max Brooks books regardless whether or not it’s faithful or not! in my opinion, I think you ought to get your head examined!

    • Jordan N. says:

      The book as it was written was unfilmable. I’d rather they make a movie “inspired” by the book rather than try and make a movie that couldn’t even hope to capture the book at all.

  2. Humored says:

    Why does this not surprise me? After all of the production issues they had on the first one, me thinks the same production woes may befall this one as well.

  3. This movie was a total surprise to me. It was engrossing, exciting and thoroughly entertaining with am edge of your seat third act.

  4. Jonnythec says:

    Maybe make sure your third act is solid before you start filming this time, ok boys

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