It took me a while to read Max Brooks' World War Z, partly 'cause the concept sounded goofy (an oral history of humanity's war against zombies), partly because zombies are played out (World War ZZZZZZZ, amirite?!), and partly because I had a hard time thinking Mel Brooks' kid was going to be an amazing writer. But Mercury Copy Chief Courtney Ferguson persuaded me to pick it up, and I did, and was impressed: Brooks takes what is a goofy concept but twists it in some really interesting ways. The first-person accounts of weary, worn-out people who've spent the past years in terror and action are smart, creepy, and fun, and Brooks cashes in on current events to affect how his zombie war plays out—Israel is the first to erect a zombie-proof wall on their borders, for example, while human trafficking helps to spread the outbreak.
ANYWAY: Good book! And Brad Pitt thought so too, telling The Hollywood Reporter his goal when adapting the film was to "take this genre movie and use it as a Trojan horse for sociopolitical problems, and [ask] what would the effect on the world be if everything we knew was upside-down and pulled out from under us?” Yeah! That sounds great! Which is too bad, because the film version of World War Z is having a few tiny problems.
At this point, the movie, with a price tag now said to be north of $170 million, needs as many as five weeks of complex reshoots, which are not expected to get underway until at least September. Paramount has taken the unusual step of hiring Prometheus scriptwriter Damon Lindelof to rework the film’s third act. The studio announced in March that it was moving the film to June 2013 from December.
Moving along from the bad timing of the Lindelof announcement (Lindelof's Prometheus' script isn't exactly being celebrated at the moment), The Hollywood Reporter has more on the production's problems, even evoking the name of (OMINOUS NOISE) John Carter. It's worth a read.
Considering five weeks of reshoots is enough to shoot.... well, a lot, I'm holding out hope that World War Z could still turn out to be great. But it's sounding less and less like an adaptation of the book—which, because my opinion matters at all, I think could've been well served in a mockumentary format like this, maybe—and more like just another monster movie. We'll see in 2024, when, after several more delays and a new first act written by Jon Spaihts, the film will eventually come out.
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