Well this is too bad.
It's been over two years (December 2013) since Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) was named the director of the World War Z sequel, set for a June 9th, 2017 release and once again starring Brad Pitt.
A couple days ago though, it was reported that Bayona had left the project due to 'other commitments'. Those commitments being Bayona's next film, A Monster Calls, which is currently in post-production and needs time to finish. Filming on the World War Z follow-up is set to shoot this summer and it was determined Bayona could not do both.
The studio behind the project, Paramount, had this to say in a 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 - along with Pitt's Plan B production company - are now on the hunt for a director to take on a project that's already been in pre-production with another filmmaker for the past two years along with a script already written and rewritten to completion by Steven Knight and Dennis Kelly, respectively.
Ironically enough, this franchise isn't a stranger to production snags. The first film went through an extensive reshoot, resulting in a brand-new third act and a release date delay from December 2012 to June 2013. It went on to make over $540 million worldwide and was well-received by critics.
Expect a new director to be named in the next month or so. We will keep you posted.