World War Z

June 14, 2013 by Tom Ferda 

Published in Film Trailers Magazine June 14, 2013

The international zombie craze will get a major injection when the apocalyptic action film “World War Z” opens at theaters across the globe next week.

Although zombie flicks are known to carry similar taglines, WWZ adds an A-list name to theirs that may take zombie slaughtering to a new level. WWZ stars Brad Pitt who plays Gerry Lane, a retired United Nations employee that goes on a worldwide trek in search of a cure to stop a zombie apocalypse that’s collapsing governments’ armies and taking over the world.

Seeing Pitt’s name on theater marquees continues an upward trend of seeing well-known actors jumping on board for zombie flicks and the names keep getting bigger all the time. Ving Rhames starred in “Dawn of the Dead” in 2004, Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg teamed up in “Zombieland” and now Pitt leads decapitation squads in WWZ.

World-War-Z

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

WWZ is based on a best selling book by Max Brooks, the son of Mel Brooks. How contrasting is that, to see the progeny of a comic genius flip 180 degrees and thrive in the horror genre like the younger Brooks has?

Filmed in several locations around the globe including Malta, Budapest and Glasgow, the movie was shot on an estimated budget of $170 million according to the movie’s IMDB page. But behind the scenes banter regarding the film’s last-minute rewrites and unexpected major reshoots has that price tag topping $200M.

This will be the second go at a mega-budget film for director Marc Forster who was behind the lens for the Bond flick “Quantum of Solace” that carried a price tag of $200M. While Solace topped out at $168M in U.S. box office returns, overseas audiences jammed theaters and made that movie a huge success with $568 million worldwide return. With the current zombie craze and Pitt at the helm, WWZ is capable of surpassing that.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

But according to several media sources, it hasn’t been a smooth ride for Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions and Plan B Entertainment (Pitt’s company) to get from concept to screen. In fact some destined WWZ a train wreck when top execs were getting axed, a last-minute rewrite and reshoots were scheduled and the budget skyrocketed.

The first draft of the screenplay was written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, but after the movie “wrapped”, the studios and Pitt brought in producer/writer Damon Lindelof (Star Trek Into Darkness, Prometheus, Lost) to write a new ending and clean things up.  Major reshoots were then scheduled and the movie’s originally planned release date of late 2012 was pushed to June 2013.

Riding the epic success of AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead”, Paramount Pictures has done an onslaught of marketing and PR for WWZ and hope to overcome the adversities they faced to get the film done and turn it into a modern day horror epic.

Contact Tom via email: tom@tomferda.com

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