The Word War Z sequel has lost its director due to timing, reports Deadline. Paramount Pictures confirmed to the site that The Orphanage and The Impossible helmer Juan Antonio Bayona left the movie with the following statement:
“Bayona is no longer able to make World War Z 2 this year, and it is our ambition to do so. He is a wonderful director and we hope to work with him soon.”
Paramount and Plan B are preparing to start filming the sequel to the blockbuster this summer with Brad Pitt reprising his lead role from a script by Steven Knight that Dennis Kelly rewrote. The studio and Skydance Productions want to have the World War Z sequel in theaters on June 9, 2017, but Bayona needed more time to work on his next film, Focus Features’ A Monster Calls, opening on October 14, 2016.
Despite production problems and an expensive reshoot of the third act, the first World War Z was a big hit worldwide with $540 million. The film, based on Max Brooks’ novel, was directed by Marc Forster on a $190 million budget. The sequel is being produced by Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Ian Bryce and Skydance’s David Ellison.
While the World War Z sequel will have to find a new director quickly, it is probably good news for the upcoming Jurassic World sequel. It was previously reported that Bayona had been approached by Universal Pictures to take over the director’s chair for the follow-up to Jurassic World, which earned $1.669 billion worldwide last year. At that time, he was committed to taking on the World War Z sequel, however.