Max Brooks’s popular zombie novel, World War Z, has been in production to be a major motion picture for some time now. For those that haven’t read it, it follows multiple stories of people and how they cope with the zombie apocalypse when it comes. It works very well in book format, like a documentary of sorts, but the question of whether it would make a good movie is still up for debate. It is also up for debate whether this production, which has already consumed more than $150 million dollars, is ever going to see release. Though it began shooting some time ago and finished shooting recently, the production has been plagued with problems that refuse to end.
At first, Paramount looked to dumb down the story, wanting to make another generic zombie actioner and capitalize on the current trend. It took them a few years to get past that indecisive point. The second problem came when the shooting was done and the execs in charge decided that the end product just wasn’t holding water and that a rewrite was in order. I hate to be the one to state the obvious, Paramount, but when you screw with the storyline that much, it’s bound to end up a mismatched mess.
But anyways… the rewrites and reshoots have been going on for a while. Damon Lindelof of Star Trek reboot fame was brought onboard for a time. His Lost compatriot, Drew Goddard was commissioned to help a bit. And now it looks like they’ll be bringing Christopher McQuarrie to muddle about with it. To boot, they’ll need seven more weeks of shooting to get the rewrites finished.
And to make matters even worse, Brad Pitt, who signed to star in the film, is now at odds with the director and refuses to speak to him. That’s right, seven more weeks of shooting and the main star is arguing with the director. Isn’t that lovely?
The film was set to release at the end of this year, but has since been pushed to June 21st of next year and may yet see another push if they can’t get their crap in order. With all the money Paramount has put into it, they’re not likely to abandon ship just yet, but any more complications and the execs at the company may spontaneously combust from stress.
Hopefully, one day, we shall see this film. And if the Gods are willing, it will be more than just a pile of duct-taped crap.