'The Orphanage' Director J.A. Bayona Lands 'World War Z' Sequel Gig

December 10, 2013
Source: THR

Juan Antonio Bayona

The War continues. Paramount has signed a deal with Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona, best known as just J.A. Bayona, to direct the World War Z sequel in development. After thwarting bad buzz to earn an impressive $540 million at the global box office, Paramount and Skydance Prods. are already moving forward on a sequel to the zombie action movie based on Max Brooks' bestselling novel of the same name. Bayona last directed The Impossible, which got one Oscar nomination, and broke out with the 2007 horror film The Orphanage. Few details have been revealed about a sequel, but at least they found a good director.

Ever since he finished directing The Impossible, J.A. Bayona has been showing up on a number of shortlists for major projects. We heard his name mentioned in relation to the next James Bond movie before they got Sam Mendes back. Thankfully with World War Z they will not be bringing back Marc Forster, who directed the first movie. THR says that he "was on the very short shortlist of directors a few weeks ago. He met with Pitt, who produced the movie via his Plan B banner and is also producing the sequel, before getting the gig. No writers are attached at this stage, but Bayona will oversee the writing process." We'll keep an eye out for updates. I wasn't the biggest fan of World War Z, but I feel this series may be in better hands with Bayona.

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  • Nathan Williams
    With his involvement it gives me hope. But not much. I hated the first one. And the book is so good. Such a shame.
  • The first one was such a sad, missed opportunity. The book and it's structure would have made a wonderful departure from the norm. It could have been a blockbuster testimonial intercutting between different testimonies. While I don't think the movie as it was made was bad, in fact for what it was it was very good. It's just that it was safe and pedestrian in it's execution. It had a chance for greatness and it choked.
  • Trey Wilson
    Hmm. Not sure how I feel about this. The Orphanage was about as exciting as watching paint dry.
    I am very curious to see how this pans out. I bet they got a small time guy just so they can direct the film, ultimately.
  • Avi
    the numbers say people liked it and I must say it was great! I am not familiar with the books, but the speed in movie was awesome!
  • Al Apone
    Ive not read the book, but would it have been better suited to a TV series ?
  • Ehsan Davodi
    Very Precise & Excellent Choice. Very Very Exited For This (I Mean VERY) First One had very simple and perfunctory script and that was its greatest weakness (for me). I'm not fan of Foster ACTION movies too. Not Much I Mean.
  • cobrazombie
    Despite all the production problems, I quite liked the finished movie.




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