Last month, WORLD WAR Z 2 producer David Ellison said he hoped that the film would be able to land David Fincher to direct. Fincher was first rumored for the gig back in August 2016, but now Variety reports that the notoriously selective director is close to signing on for the film. So what made the pieces fall into place. First, there was star and producer Brad Pitt wooing Fincher for another collaboration. The duo previously teamed up on SE7EN, FIGHT CLUB, and THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, and as both a star and a producer on WORLD WAR Z 2, Pitt would likely be able to protect Fincher from studio interference (a kind of behavior that goes back to their days working on SE7EN when Fincher wanted Kevin Spacey for the John Doe role, and the studio balked at Spacey’s price tag until Pitt backed up his director).
But as Variety points out, another motivating factor was the involvement of Paramount’s new chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos. Gianopulos has not officially greenlit WORLD WAR Z 2 yet, but is expected to do so in coming weeks. Furthermore, Gianopulos and Fincher have history. They most recently collaborated on GONE GIRL, Fincher’s last feature film before he decided to pursue TV projects, his latest being ‘Mindhunters’ at Netflix. If Fincher does come on board, he’ll have plenty of time to prep. Production isn’t expected to begin until early 2018, which makes sense since Pitt is slated to start filming on James Gray’s AD ASTRA this July.
While Fincher has been wary of directing a sequel ever since his nightmarish experience on ALIEN 3, all the pieces are in place for him to do something exciting with WORLD WAR Z 2. The first movie was a hit, but not to the point where it created an unshakable foundation. Additionally, giving Fincher a blockbuster and providing him the room to succeed could yield bigger projects for the director down the road. These are ideal circumstances for Fincher even if a WORLD WAR Z sequel seems like an unusual choice at first blush. Here’s hoping it all comes together and we’ve got a new Fincher film in theaters by 2019.