All has been quiet on the World War Z 2 front ever since Stephen Knight produced a first draft of the script back in August, though The Hollywood Reporter has unveiled that Paramount has now fired the wheels into motion once more with Dennis Kelly being drafted in to touch up the sequel’s screenplay.
Best known as the creator of dark British series Utopia, Kelly will be working under J.A. Bayona, who will direct the high-profile zombie sequel despite rumors to the contrary. We say rumors to the contrary because, up until THR’s report confirming as much, Bayona had been in contention to supplant Colin Trevorrow in the director’s chair for Jurassic World 2 – who will have his hands tied with Star Wars: Episode IX, but will remain on board to produce – though it appears as though a deal was already in place to secure Bayona for World War Z 2.
Production woes may have threatened to unceremoniously derail the original zombie thriller before it released in 2013, but a compact and effective end chapter coupled with Brad Pitt’s star power fired World War Z to an overly surprising $540 million at the box office two years ago. Based on the acclaimed, episodic novel by Max Brooks, Paramount will be taking the necessary strides to emulate that success in a couple of years’ time, and the studio is evidently laying the groundwork to do so by ensuring that both Bayona and Pitt are locked for the follow-up.
Much as before, the latter will return to produce alongside Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Ian Bryce. With a June 9, 2017 release date in its sights, the next step for World War Z 2 will be moving into active production, and we expect that to happen at some point in 2016.