We’re still a few days away from the Super Bowl, but the first of the six movie commercials scheduled to air during the big game has already leaked online – the 30-second spot for Marc Forster’s World War Z.
If you have seen the already released trailer for the film, than you won’t be seeing much new in the spot outside of a bit that helps to sell the global scale of the story.
Starring Brad Pitt, World War Z opens on June 21st.
After a long production schedule that was extended by reshoots, World War Z is finally getting ready for release and the first trailer for the film has just been released.
I have to admit that I have been rather down on the project ever since it was apparent that director Marc Forester was moving away from J. Michael Straczynski’s rather faithful adaptation of Max Brooks’s original novel towards a more linear approach. Still, it does look like it has retained some elements of the book, specifically a variation of the Battle of Yonkers. While it might not be a faithful adaptation of the book, it looks like World War Z is going to be a fairly epic zombie movie.
Earlier this week we found out that director Marc Forster’s adaption of Max Brooks’ book World War Z had been scheduled for a rather unprecedented seven weeks of reshoots later in the fall. It turns out that the person who will be scripting those reshoots will be Prometheus scribe Damon Lindelof. Paramount is hoping that he will be able to deliver the goods to get what is obviously a very troubled production back on track.
At the time the reshoots were announced, I noted that seven weeks is a good part of a regular film’s production schedule, so it looks like they are giving it a fairly extensive overhaul. The Hollywood Reporter has noted that Lindelof’s rewrites will be focusing on the film’s third act, but I suspect that in order to rebuild that section of the film he will need to shore up the first two as well.
Now some screenwriters will tell you that endings are indeed the hardest part of writing a script, but to me that only would seem to be the case if there were problems if things weren’t properly set up in the first part of the script. And the fact that no one seems to have realized that their were such integral structural problems with the screenplay before now is rather worrisome. And potentially a rather costly mistake for the production and for studio Paramount.
These days it is not unusual for a film’s cast to be reassembled for additional shooting months after the production had originally wrapped. It is often a good way for a director to add some shots he has discovered while editing that he still needs. However, a reshoot period for a film as long as this is virtually unheard of.
The Daily Mail is reporting that director Marc Forster’s adaption of Max Brooks’s zombie novel World War Z has just scheduled seven weeks of worth of reshoots in Budapest.
To give you an example of how unusual this amount of time is, some smaller films are shot entirely in seven weeks. But the last time that there was a series of reshoots this extensive was for the Exorcist prequel nearly a decade ago and you may remember how that whole fiasco turned out.
I have to admit that although I enjoyed the book, at this point I don’t have high hopes for the film. The book was considered a tricky adaption due to the its story being told through a collection of government documents and eyewitness accounts of a zombie uprising. J Michael Straczynski managed to structure a screenplay that received a lot of good buzz as well as praise from Brooks himself. However, after director Marc Forster signed on to the project, a new writer in the form of Matthew Michael Carnahan reportedly gave the film a more straightforward narrative structure. It was a move that Brooks appeared to be unhappy about.
As a director, Forster has never shown much facility for onscreen action. I found the action sequences of both Quantum Of Solace and Machine Gun Preacher to be muddled and at times downright confusing. And there is no doubt that this film will need a strong action director at its helm.
This latest news does not do much to instill confidence, but perhaps the reshoots are to move the film back to its original structure. Could we be that lucky?
Let’s face it, the studios all hope that any new film they release will be successful enough to spawn a franchise. It should come as no surprise then that Paramount has plans to expand their upcoming adaption of Max Brooks’ zombie novel World War Z into a trilogy if the film turns out to be a hit.
The news comes from a LA Times interview with World War Z star and producer Brad Pitt, with the paper describing the film’s tone as having “the grounded, gun-metal realism of, say, [Matt] Damon’s Jason Bourne [film] series tethered to the unsettling end-times vibe of AMC’s The Walking Dead.”
In the film, direct by Quantum Of Solace‘s Marc Forster, Pitt is playing Gerry Lane, a UN fact finder racing to the cause of a zombie outbreak that threatens the globe.
Given the nature of Brooks’ book, there is certainly a lot of material to plumb for potential sequels. For the uninitiated, the book is presented as a collection of records, interviews and documents gathered after the zombie outbreak had been contained that attempts to explain how the situation spread out of control. The original screenplay for the project by J. Michael Straczynski kept this conceit and had its main character traveling the country collecting the stories and documents that are found in the book. Reportedly, script rewrites from Matthew Michael Carnahan have given the film a more straightforward narrative structure, which I have to confess I find the prospect of a bit disappointing. If enough people by tickets next December following the film’s release we’ll get to see how they intend to take the book and flesh out a further story.
The adaption of Max Brooks’ seminal zombie apocalypse novel World War Z has recently started in Glasgow Scotland. Evidentally part of the film will take place in Phiadelphia, which the production has started to convert a small section of Glasgow into judging by these photos a reader sent into AintItCool.
As a life long resident of eastern Pennsylvania, I have spent alot of time in Philadelphia, even living in its suburbs for a year and a half. It looks like the production has paid some attention into making sure that the small details like signs and such look authentic. Hopefully, the film’s screenplay, having been rewritten by Matthew Michael Carnahan from J Michael Straczynski’s original drafts.
World War Z stars Brad Pitt, Bryan Cranston and Mireille Enos. It is scheduled for release in December 2012.
The zombie apocalypse shown in Max Brooks’ novel World War Z is shuffling ever closer to the big screen as we have our first casting announcement outside of star Bard Pitt’s long attachment.
Mireille Enos, star of AMC’s series The Killing, is in talks to star opposite Pitt in the upcoming film. She would be playing the wife of Pitt’s UN worker tasked with investigating the origins of an outbreak of zombies which swept around the world ten years earlier.
The film is set to begin production in June with shooting in London, Malta and other locations. Quantum Of Solace‘s Marc Forster is directing with Pitt’s Plan B production house producing.
The folks over at Bleeding Cool seem to think so as they are reporting from unnamed sources that Paramount’s World War Z is set to film in London and at Pinewood Studios in the fall.
Not much more information than that is known, but if true, it suggests that Paramount has finally worked out their financial concerns with the project’s $125 million price tag. Two weeks ago, the studio was looking for a co-financier to split the cost of production. Last week, it looked as if they had found such a partner in David Ellison and his production company Skydance, who was already working with Paramount on their upcoming films Mission: Impossible IV and Top Gun II.
Based on Max Brooks classic novel, World War Z will tell the story of a man trying to piece together exactly how a zombie uprising almost destroyed the war. Brad Pitt is set to star and producer through his company Plan B. Quantum Of Solace‘s Marc Foster is set to direct.
World War Z is just one of a number of high profile zombie projects in development around Hollywood at the moment. They include a sequel to Zombieland, new installments in the 28 Days Later and Resident Evil franchises, two scripts that were on last year’s Black List – The Kitchen Sink, which has Jonah Hill attached to direct, and Boy Scouts Vs Zombies – and Paul Is Undead, a comedy which retells the story of the Beatles as if they were zombies.
Paramount’s troubles in finding a co-financier for their adaptation of Max Brooks’ zombie novel World War Z may be over. Deadline is reporting that the studio is currently in negotiations with David Ellison and his production company Skydance “and as many as two other financiers” to help shoulder the projected $125 million cost of the project.
Last week, it was looking doubtful that Paramount would proceed with the project without a co-production deal with someone. Ellison was mentioned as a possible candidate, as Skydance already was working with Paramount on their upcoming films Mission: Impossible IV and Top Gun II.
The film will star Brad Pitt and focus on a UN researcher investigating the cause of a world wide zombie outbreak ten years after the fact. Marc Forster is set to direct.
Once the financing deal(s) go through, the plan appears to have the film in production by June. And Paramount needs to hurry, if they want to beat the horde of zombie projects currently shuffling towards cinemas. In addition to a sequel to Zombieland and new installments in the 28 Days Later and Resident Evil franchises, there are at least four other zombie projects in development right now. Two scripts that were on last year’s Black List – The Kitchen Sink and Boy Scouts Vs Zombies – have been bought and are being worked on. Jonah Hill is already attached to direct Kitchen Sink, which features some teenagers allying themselves with a zombie and a vampire to fight off an alien invasion. Sony has recently made a deal with Platinum Dunes to adapt the indie comic Zombies Vs Robots. But the most intriguing project has to be Paul Is Undead, a comedy which retells the story of the Beatles as if they were zombies.
Will the zombie apocalypse be called off on account of lack of money?
That is a distinct possibility according to NY Magazine’s Vulture blog,which is reporting that Paramount is currently looking for someone to co-finance their in development adaptation of Max Brooks’ seminal zombie novel World War Z. The film currently has a price tag of $125 million, so Paramount has allegedly approached frequent co-financing partner David Ellison (who has already committed to Paramount’s upcoming Mission: Impossible IV and Top Gun II) as well as another, unspecified investor to share the expense.
While Vulture quotes Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman as saying, “We’re really committed to making a big, kick-ass giant movie with [director] Marc Forster and [star] Brad Pitt,” they also state that Goodman claimed it was “too early to tell” if the studio would move ahead on the film without co-financing in place.
If Paramount isn’t able to find someone to split the bill with, I rather doubt that they would proceed with World War Z on their own. Studios have become increasingly conscious of the high price of their big budget tentpole films of late and are always looking to spread some of the cost among production partners. Just a few weeks ago Universal pulled the plug on Guillermo Del Toro’s long in development At The Mountains Of Madness over concerns whether the planned R rated horror film could make back at the box office its estimated $150 million budget. Foster’s contract stipulates that he would shoot for a PG-13 rating with World War Z, so theoretically the film would have an easier time at the box office than an R rated Mountains in terms of to whom they could sell tickets.
It would be a shame if Paramount does cancel the film. J Michael Straczynski’s initial drafts for the film were something that exceeded the zombie film genre in an exciting way. While there are many horror films that contain a certain amount of subtext, Straczynski’s drafts drew some solid real world parallels that would have made it a new high mark in the genre. When Forster was brought on board, he hired to do some rewrites on the script. I can’t say what he was instructed to do, though I would guess that there was probably a note to reign in some of the epic scope of Straczynski’s drafts. It Would be a shame if the filmmakers had tried everything they could do to make the film affordable to make only to have it be cancelled over budgetary issues anyway.