Most horror movie fans and cinema buffs in general will be familiar with at least two films directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt: the 1995 classic crime thriller Se7en and the even more highly revered 1999 action drama Fight Club. Those demographics and anyone else who loves a good film will undoubtedly be excited that Fincher as director and Pitt as leading man are reuniting in the much-anticipated sequel to zombie flick World War Z.
According to Yahoo!, Fincher is 100 percent confirmed to direct at this point. Rumors about the living legend of cinema directing the World War Z sequel have been swirling around since April, but only recently has it become a done deal.
Hopefully, that means that Fincher will be bringing some of his signature flair to the World War Z sequel. For instance:
- Emotionally impactful action — Both Se7en and Fight Club benefited from shock value. They included enough graphic or disturbing imagery to get a rise out of the audience, and that raised the stakes of the rest of the film. More importantly, the violent action occurred on a person-to-person level that helped to develop the plot and characters rather than in a series of huge spectacles. In other words, the intense action scenes managed to serve a dual purpose as character moments. Hopefully, this will cross over to the World War Z sequel, especially since critics like Roger Ebert argued the first film focused too much on spectacle rather than character development.
David Fincher. [Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]
- Character flaws — Both Se7en and Fight Club were highly praised for their lead characters and how they were realistically flawed — it made the characters more believable. And one of the most common criticisms about World War Z was that Brad Pitt’s character was just too perfect at everything. Fincher very well may be able to inject some life into Pitt’s Gerry Lane by adding a few chinks to his armor.
- The twist — No spoilers here, but part of the reason both Se7en and Fight Club are still remembered so well is because they each have a massive twist at the end that leaves the audience thinking about its ramifications for days or even years. A big twist like that has become one of David Fincher’s trademarks, so it would be a surprise if there wasn’t one at the end of the World War Z sequel. Then again, maybe the lack of a twist is the twist.
- Mystery — David Fincher’s better films have consistently been built around mysteries and secrets. Se7en is all about finding an elusive mass murderer, and Fight Club focuses on a top-secret underground organization. Expect to see the World War Z sequel to involve a lot more intriguing questions than its predecessor, which was also criticized for being too linear.
- Subversive, controversial storytelling — Cinelinx notes that Fincher’s movies usually make a point to buck familiar cinema tropes. For example, they rarely end with the neat, happy resolutions typical of Hollywood fare, and they often play off traditional Hollywood stereotypes. The piece says that both Se7en and Fight Club were very controversial when they were released because of how shocking they get, and the World War Z franchise, which got some flack for being too formulaic in its first installment, could certainly use a dose of that.
Brad Pitt at the World War Z premiere in 2013. [Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]
- Suicide? — At the end of nearly every David Fincher film, one of the central characters kills him or herself. Will Brad Pitt’s character be doing the same thing?
Jim Gianopulos, the head of production at Paramount Pictures, tells the Hollywood Reporter that World War Z 2 (which will probably receive a catchier title later on in production), is in “advanced development,” whatever that means.
Not much else is known about the World War Z sequel at this point — Pitt is the only casting decision thus far — but it’s probably safe to say that the confirmation of Fincher will considerably increase general interest in the ongoing production.
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