Paramount has found a new director to take over its World War Z franchise and hopefully not anger Brad Pitt, hiring Juan Antonio Bayona to helm its follow-up to the zombie film that surprised everyone by doing well enough to demand a follow-up. As you might recall, the movie based on the title of Max Brooks’ popular novel was besieged by production problems, last-minute rewrites, and a communication breakdown between director Marc Forster and Pitt that reportedly saw them reduced to passing notes rather than speak to each other—hence Forster not returning.
Bayona gained experience with staging scenes of massive devastation (and scenes of people reacting poorly to that devastation) by directing last year’s tsunami drama The Impossible, while he’s also dabbled in the horror genre by directing the Guillermo del Toro-produced The Orphanage. Most importantly, he got the job only after meeting with Pitt himself, thus proving he’s got the requisite “listening to Brad Pitt” skills needed to make a World War Z movie. Brad Pitt's got a lot of cities he needs to run through, all right? He doesn't have time for your jibber-jabber.