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.