Paramount Puts Brakes on 'World War Z' Sequel

Paramount's zombies are being iced.

The studio is halting preproduction on the high-profile sequel to World War Z, the 2013 hit that starred Brad Pitt.

The follow-up, with David Fincher in the director's seat, was on its way to a spring or early summer production start in Atlanta. Paramount and producers at Pitt's Plan B shingle began making calls to the crew on Wednesday morning.

Sources say that budgetary issues came to a head, but it's unclear how or how long those issues have been brewing. Also unclear is whether the project will go back into development or if it is being shelved indefinitely.

Paramount and CAA, which reps Pitt and Plan B, had no comment.

The development is the latest obstacle for the sequel, which was put into motion soon after the initial movie, an adaptation of the Max Brooks novel that looked at a zombie epidemic from a worldwide perspective, grossed $540 million worldwide.

That same year, J.A. Bayona came on board as director, and in 2015 Paramount announced a release date of 2017. By 2016, Bayona was gone and a nearly yearlong, on- and off-again negotiation with Fincher began. Once Fincher was secured in February 2017, execs energized at the prospect of reuniting the team behind Seven, Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button had to watch the project move in fits and starts and even push shooting due to various scheduling and script development issues.