Sunday, 24 January 2016

Juan Antonio Bayona leaves World War Z sequel

The first World War Z's (2013) extensive production problems were well documented, and the developing sequel is now encountering some of its own. News arrives via Deadline that director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible), who has been attached since December 2013, has quit the film just ahead of its summer start date.

According to Deadline the problem is one of timing. Paramount Pictures are keen to get World War Z 2 in front of cameras this year, while Bayona still feels commmitted to the post-production and publicity process for his recently completed A Monster Calls.

"Bayona is no longer able to make World War Z 2 this year," reads the studio's official statement, "and it is our ambition to do so. He is a wonderful director and we hope to work with him soon."

Dennis Kelly (Utopia) is the most recent writer to take a crack at the screenplay, with the original drafts by Steven Knight (Locke). As before, the film will be loosely based on Max Brooks novel. Before Kelly's arrival, Bayona was reportedly already considering jumping ship to direct Jurassic World 2. The speculation is now that he will take that job, which certainly has a more flexible timetable. 

Quite what aspect of the ongoing zombie crisis will make up World War Z 2 is still unclear, but there will now be a scramble to fill the director's chair in order to meet the current release date of 9 June 2017. Bayona's A Monster Calls, meanwhile, is out in the UK on 21 October.

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