The inevitability of blockbuster sequels has spread faster than a zombie virus through the post-apocalyptic Western World. If a movie has a big name headliner and enjoys a pretty healthy turn at the box office, you can bet that studios will be clamoring to get a follow-up feature going by any means necessary. The latest film to win this honor is World War Z, which released on Friday to impressive weekend numbers, sparking Paramount’s interest in a sequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And you can take issue with the money-hungry nature of the franchise pandemic, or with the attention this practice drives away from producing new, original stories. But the biggest issue in this case is the timing: give people a few days to see the movie before spoiling the fact that a sequel is, in terms of plot, possible!
Warning: The following contains spoilers about the ending of World War Z.
A good deal of films wouldn’t suffer from early announcements of a developing sequel. Superhero movies, all-about-the-effects action flicks, screwball comedies… nothing is “ruined” by knowing that the story will end with more adventures left to take. With a movie like World War Z, however, the whole journey is arguably banked on not knowing whether Brad Pitt’s heroic lead will live or die, save the day or watch the world crumble. Although news of a sequel doesn’t exactly answer these questions, it hints that things work out quite alright for ol’ Gerry Lane.
And they do — or at least, they will. Pitt’s character discovers how to stop the zombie virus from spreading at the end of the film. Ostensibly, the sequel will follow him as he actually carries this plan forth.
Unfortunately for new viewers, sequel reports alleviate the sense of dread, always branded with the knowledge that the story can’t end with this film. But then there’s the bright side, for those who did and do enjoy the film: the story can’t end with it! More Brad Pitt fighting zombies, people.