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

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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