World War Z sequel loses director Juan Antonio Bayona | EW.com
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Director Juan Antonio Bayona exits World War Z sequel

(Jaap Buitendijk/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Juan Antonio Bayona has departed as director of World War Z 2 due to a scheduling conflict, Paramount Pictures confirmed to EW.

The studio intends to shoot the sequel to the 2013 Brad Pitt zombie thriller in time for a June 2017 theatrical release, but Bayona looks to be tied up with his just-wrapped fantasy-drama A Monster Calls.

A Paramount spokesperson said in a statement, “Because of pre-existing film commitments, Bayona is not able to make [the sequel] this year, and it is our ambition to do so. He is a wonderful director and we hope to work with him soon.”

No replacement director has been named for WWZ2, which has Pitt returning as star and producer. Dennis Kelly wrote the most recent draft of the script.

This isn’t the first time the World War Z franchise has hit a setback. The original film endured a tumultuous production, including a complete overhaul of the third act, but it went on to gross more than $500 million at the worldwide box office.

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Deadline first reported the news of Bayona’s exit.