David Fincher Says His Scrapped ‘World War Z’ Sequel Was ‘A Little Like ‘The Last of Us’’

The Brad Pitt-fronted Paramount project was canceled in 2019 over budgetary concerns

Paramount Pictures

Lauded filmmaker David Fincher nearly made the leap to blockbuster sequel territory with a follow-up to Brad Pitt’s 2013 zombie action thriller “World War Z,” but the director now says he’s glad the project didn’t come together because his take was similar to HBO’s “The Last of Us.”

Fincher boarded and started developing “World War Z 2” in 2017 after the Paramount Pictures film lost director J.A. Bayona, marking a reunion with his “Fight Club” and “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” star Pitt. But in 2019, Paramount canceled the project over budgetary concerns and Fincher moved on to his Netflix film “Mank.”

Speaking with GQ UK, Fincher teased a bit of what he had planned for the zombie sequel, comparing it to HBO’s acclaimed video game adaptation “The Last of Us.”

“It was a little like ‘The Last of Us.’ I’m glad that we didn’t do what we were doing, because ‘The Last of Us’ has a lot more real estate to explore the same stuff,” he said. “In our title sequence, we were going to use the little parasite… they used it in their title sequence, and in that wonderful opening with the Dick Cavett, David Frost-style talk show.”

The HBO series drew raves for its focus on character and story over gross-out effects or action as it hinged on the journey of a reluctant smuggler (Pedro Pascal) and a young woman with a secret (Bella Ramsey) in a harsh post-apocalyptic landscape.

The “Last of Us” comparison was all that Fincher allowed, but the prospect of the director behind “Zodiac” and “The Social Network” bringing his talents to a big-budget zombie movie was cause for excitement from fans.

He has flirted with sequels before, developing a take on “Mission: Impossible 3” with Tom Cruise before departing over creative differences, and of course made his feature directorial debut with “Alien 3.”

Fincher is currently in the midst of a deal with Netflix to make original films and is due to release his latest feature, the wry Michael Fassbender assassin thriller “The Killer,” in theaters on Oct. 27 before a streaming release in November.

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