It's been a long wait for any news about the follow-up to 2013's surprise smash "World War Z," the Brad Pitt flick that had a notoriously difficult production but wound up with a huge haul at the box office anyway. While the first film's $540 million earnings made a sequel a no-brainer for studio Paramount, it's been another long road to production, with the follow-up flick losing its director, J.A. Bayona, earlier this year. (Bayona switched teams to helm "Jurassic World 2.") But now, the sequel may have lined up a more famous replacement.

Variety reports that frequent Pitt collaborator David Fincher is currently in negotiations to take the helm, with the star meeting with the director in recent weeks to discuss the project. Fincher is one of several directors being considered for the flick, but according to the trade, "The talks were initially lukewarm, but sources now tell Variety that negotiations are much further down the road."

If Fincher does sign on, it will be his fourth time working with Pitt, following "Se7en," "Fight Club," and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." The pair were most recently slated to tackle a reboot of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," but that project never materialized.

Regardless of who sits in the director's chair this time, "World War Z 2" is almost guaranteed to have a smoother production than its predecessor, which was plagued with extensive on-set rewrites, expensive reshoots (including a complete re-do of the ending), and multiple conflicting visions for the flick, which was based on Max Brooks's novel. Despite all those troubles, Pitt was eager to make a sequel, and the film went on to make up for all the behind the scenes drama at the box office.

Plot details are being kept under wraps for now. Production is expected to start sometime in early 2017.

[via: Variety]