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The sequel to this year’s hit World War Z has found its director. Juan Antonio Bayona, who directed the acclaimed true story The Impossible in 2012, has been hired by Paramount, Skydance and Brad Pitt’s Plan B to direct.
The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, which confirmed that the Spanish director has already signed a contract with the producers. Bayona has directed big set-pieces, as The Impossible tells the story of a family surviving the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It starred Naomi Watts, who was nominated for an Oscar, and Ewan McGregor.
World War Z wasn’t supposed to be a hit, since it ran overbudget and required extensive reshoots and an all-new ending. But the movie, based on Max Brooks’ post-zombie apocalypse novel, defied expectations and made $540 million worldwide. The film starred Pitt as a former UN employee who travels around the world to find a cure for the zombie virus.
The new ending for the film provided it with a firm ending, but one that Paramount could still build on. According to Bloody Disgusting, director Marc Forster told Empire recently that the original ending would have been too action heavy, compared to the simpler ending audiences saw.
“The reason I felt it wouldn't work is that by that time you have a certain battle fatigue after Israel. After Israel and the plane crash, trying to trump that and make it even bigger wasn't working in our favor,” Forster told the magazine.
Forster wasn’t expected to return after the problems experienced on the first one. However, Pitt has been much more enthusiastic about the franchise, confirming that he was talking about a sequel in September.