While the tortured creation of “World War Z” —which involved battles between the film’s star Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster, budget overruns and extensive reshoots— will never be forgotten, Paramount were blessed with a happy ending to that story. The zombie blockbuster earned a whopping $540 million worldwide, proving that this was a newly minted franchise. While development on a followup has been moving in fits and starts, it looks like production will soon be steadily lurching forward.
Variety reports that the studio has pegged the “World War Z” sequel to hit cinemas on June 9, 2017. As previously reported, J.A. Bayona (“The Impossible”) will direct with Steven Knight (“Locke,” “Eastern Promises“) penning the script. But what’s interesting to note is that Fox‘s sequel to “Fantastic Four” is also due the same day, so we’ll see if they blink and move their superhero picture. But we’d wager the studio wants to know how audiences react to Josh Trank‘s gritty movie before making a hard commitment. At any rate, no one wants to face off against Brad Pitt in blockbuster mode.
In related news which you can share with your Mom, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” has been slated to open opposite “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” next spring on March 25, 2016. It’s a deft counter-programming move, and Warner Bros. probably isn’t too worried about it.