Horror World War Z

Tom

An Old Friend
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Dec 6, 2004
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Gulf Coast
#1


MovieWeb said:
In a story from Variety, Paramount Pictures has tapped Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) to direct World War Z.
MovieWeb said:
The film is based on Max Brooks novel. It looks at what would happen if the planet were overrun by zombies.

Writing the script will be J. Michael Straczynski. Plan B, Brad Pitt's production company, will be handling producing duties.

"The genre always fascinated me, and when they pitched it to me, it reminded me of the paranoid conspiracy films of the '70s like All the President's Men" Forster states.
FirstShowing said:
One day prior to the exact day last year that we first announced Max Brooks' World War Z was being adapted, we finally hear some details on how the movie will play out. I remember first writing the news and becoming immediately excited despite having not actually read the book. And over the last year I've run into countless people who keeping telling me how great the book is. The script was written by comic book author J. Michael Straczynski, who most recently wrote Clint Eastwood's Changeling and was one of the creators of "Babylon 5". AICN just got their hands on the finished script and have reported back with a very positive reaction.
FirstShowing said:
Moriarty's enthusiasm for Straczynski's script is through the roof. "I love this script. Love every dark, somber, upsetting page of it. This is a horror epic, a serious, sober-minded adult picture waiting to be made, and it's one of the best pieces of screenwriting craft I've encountered in a while." Before we get into the meat of the movie, though, let's take a look at the book again so we're clear on what it actually contains. "The book is an oral history of the great zombie wars, compiled by a nameless editor as part of a government report."

Ten years after the human victory over the world wide Zombie epidemic, referred to as World War Z, Max Brooks scours the world collecting the stories and experiences of those who have survived the conflict that almost eradicated humanity.

It is in essence just oral recollections from survivors of World War Z. This is not your typical zombie book and this won't be your typical zombie movie. Moriarty goes as far as to call the movie potentially "a genre-defining piece of work" that could even get people "arguing about whether or not a zombie movie qualifies as Best Picture material." Wow, that's quite a powerful statement, but then again, we don't even know what to expect yet. It's time to get into the details.

"In the first five pages, we see GERRY LANE collecting stories, and the first two interviews are with a flight attendant and a border guard. Both manage to play as horror shock beats, but the way they're told also sets the tone right away… JMS is after the human truth underneath the horror, and in a way, that makes it much, much harder to take."

From what I can interpret, the movie follows this particular archiver / journalist, named Gerry Lane (who might be played Brad Pitt), around as he travels the world conducting interviews with survivors. Again, from what I can interpret, it's almost like a documentary, but set in a post-zombie-apocalyptic world with much more to it than just talking heads.

"The world of the film reminds me of CHILDREN OF MEN on the page. Realistic but set in the near-future, in the aftermath of the zombie wars. We see a flashback to Gerry being given his assignment to write a report about 'where the system worked, where it didn't, how and in what ways the various organizational infrastructures failed.' It's a politically shitty job because no one wants to know that they were responsible for anything that went wrong. Gerry's hesitant because it's going to take at least six months away from his family, just as the world is starting to right itself. He takes the job, and as he travels to his first interview, we see how hard travel has become. I hate going through airport security these days, but at least I don't have to strip naked and subject myself to a blood test. Yet."

Moriarty goes on to describe Gerry's first interview with Dr. Tsai in China. In addition, he praises Straczynski for doing "a great job of etching the details of a world that has already faced its darkest moments and is now trying to put things back in order." What it sounds like the movie is really becoming is one that, while recalling some of the horrific moments from World War Z, instead focuses on the post-apocalyptic world that the survivors now all live in.

"Tsai's account of his first encounter with zombies at New Dachang is awful and horrific, and right away, it's apparent that a combination of bureaucracy and military strategy is responsible for a sort of passive evil, and Tsai feels enormous guilt about it. He leads Gerry to his next interview, which leads him to his next, and one of the things that the script does so well is depict survivors who are starting to wonder if survival is a victory of any kind. There's a story about black market organs that is just brutal, an off-the-record conversation with a CIA friend, and an insane beach sequence that I can't wait to see on film. All in the first 50 pages."

My next question, which Moriarty doesn't seem to answer, is whether each of these interviews turns into a flashback that is depicted on screen. Or whether we just get the talking head plus some sort of other dynamic imagery. I'm guessing, considering this was described as "epic", that each of the stories we hear will indeed be shown. As in, a post-World War Z narrative that is weaved with stories from the past that, if directed correctly, could be fashioned into an incredibly fulfilling look at the world before, during, and after World War Z.

While Moriarty does mention that this was a draft dated April 2007, it did feel complete enough to go into production right away. So, as always, don't take anything you read in here as solid fact, but rather a report from someone who read a draft of a script that was over 11 months old. The key point here is that the direction the movie seems to be heading is absolutely brilliant. I wish I could have read the script myself, but for now we'll have to go on Moriarty's word.

We haven't heard any updates recently, but the film isn't in production and is still looking for a director. Hopefully someone as amazing as Children of Men's Alfonso Cuarón takes on this project - because it couldn't succeed without them.

Does this sound like J. Michael Straczynski has pulled off a brilliant script for a challenging adaptation? Or is this taking it too far for something as mundane as a zombie movie?
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
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#2
Interesting take on the genre. Did you catch if they explain what created the zombies or if it just picks up the story as though zombies have always been around?
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
#6
The official trailer for World War Z, based on the 2006 book by Max Brooks and starring Brad Pitt, has been released.

A U.N. employee is racing against time and fate, as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic.​

A June 21, 2013 release date is tentatively planned by Paramount Pictures. The official site for the movie is http://www.worldwarzmovie.com.

 

Webster

The Red Tarheel
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Location
Morganton, NC
#8
Judging by the trailer, it looks to be a pretty decent film...and with the success of The Walking Dead as a backstop, I wouldn't be surprised if it does well raking in the dollars. :cool:

Then again, with Brad Pitt as the lead, the odds are pretty good people will go to see it for that reason, nevermind the movie itself.... :eek::eek:
 

Kevin

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#9
Then again, with Brad Pitt as the lead, the odds are pretty good people will go to see it for that reason, nevermind the movie itself.... :eek::eek:
... and you've just described how I ended up seeing Seven Years in Tibet with Mrs. Kevin. It felt like seven years sitting in that movie theater. :banghead:
 

Kevin

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#11
I don't think it actually looks that good, to be honest, but then again, there weren't many clips of the actual zombies shown.
I think it is going to turn out doing pretty well at the box office because you'll have people who wouldn't normally see it going for Brad Pitt but the die-hard zombie fans will have issues with it.

The movie is based on the book of the same name by Max Brooks. While the general synopsis is the same, a UN employee (Brad Pitt) traveling the world fighting the zombie outbreak, the movie differs in that it is an action movie based on Pitt's character versus the book which was a collection of first-hand accounts of fighting the zombies that were collected by the employee for his UN report. The speed of the zombies is also changed drastically with the trailer showing them moving fast in swarms versus the book which had them slow moving (because they were based on Brooks' earlier book, The Zombie Survival Guide).
 

Webster

The Red Tarheel
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Dec 7, 2007
Location
Morganton, NC
#12
*reading Kevin's comment...*
I think it is going to turn out doing pretty well at the box office because you'll have people who wouldn't normally see it going for Brad Pitt but the die-hard zombie fans will have issues with it.
Like I said earlier, there's probably going to be a ton of people who'll go to see it just for that reason...:eek::eek:

The movie is based on the book of the same name by Max Brooks. While the general synopsis is the same, a UN employee (Brad Pitt) traveling the world fighting the zombie outbreak, the movie differs in that it is an action movie based on Pitt's character versus the book which was a collection of first-hand accounts of fighting the zombies that were collected by the employee for his UN report. The speed of the zombies is also changed drastically with the trailer showing them moving fast in swarms versus the book which had them slow moving (because they were based on Brooks' earlier book, The Zombie Survival Guide).
Sorta' reminds me of what happened with the re-make of The Andromeda Strain a few years back; they took one of the best films of the past few decades and tried to re-image it for today's audiences....for what it's worth, it wasn't the worst thing Hollywood ever produced(Starship Troopers anyone?) but it definitely reminded me of why the original film was so much better...let's hope Hollywood doesn't screw WWZ up as well....:eek::eek::eek:
 

Viktor Kuprin

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#13
The trailer shows the classic mistake of bad CGI: objects moving way, way too fast. Notice that you can't see details of the zombies when they're piling up? It's a cost-saving measure: reduce the frame detail, less rendering, less computer time, less detail, use quick motion, but then it becomes too quick.

Example: the old original Anaconda movie, where a snake the size of a bus moved at hyperspeed. Completely unrealistic and completely unbelievable. I'm afraid the makers of WWZ have made the same mistake. CGI can be well done. Look at The Avengers. With the exception of a not-so-good scene of Captain American making a leap on the SHIELD carrier that looked like something from a bad Hanna-Barbera cartoon, it was done well.

I don't know that the casting will make WWZ an instant success, either. Pitt isn't the sure thing he was a few years ago. I might bet that WWZ may go the way of John Carter: big budget bomb at boxoffice.
 

Kevin

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#16
In the current issue of Entertainment Weekly Brad Pitt gives an explanation as to why they changed the movies from the book to be fast moving instead of the traditional slow walkers.

Brad Pitt said:
The book focused on slow zombies. We chose to be more dynamic in that we wanted to base all of this on science. So it’s ‘What if we had them move like ants? Or a swarm of bees? Or birds or a school of fish that’s being chased?’ One of the first [questions] we asked was how to portray the zombies and how to do it differently because it’s been done so many times and been done pretty damn well.
So they wanted to "base all of this on science" but he then turns around says they did it "to do it differently" as the reason? :unsure: Guess it just happens to be a coincidence that their plan to " do it differently" helps with the fast pace of an action movie with a high profile star.
 

Jethro

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Jan 21, 2013
#17
The movie has been plagued with issues and has been put back quite a bit as they needed to re-shoot a whole bunch of scenes. Loved Brooks' book but think the movie looks real dumb. Pitt might think it looks more dynamic, I think it looks like a complete load of rubbish, zombies moving like ants, wtf!?!

The dark genre is having a real bad year at the box office, at least here in the colonies, just maybe this one will give it a healthy return, though I'm not convinced we're looking at a blockbuster. Horror, besides a few surprises, has never been a box office dynamo a the best of times.
 

Kevin

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Pennsylvania
#18
What any of you guys/gals pay $50 USD to see World War Z early?
(Details: http://awalkerbit.me/threads/world-war-z.43/#post-4943)

Cliff Notes is that for $50 USD per person you get to see the movie 2 days earlier than the national release, you get a poster, a small popcorn, a pair of Real 3D glasses to watch the movie with, and a digital copy at some point in the future when it becomes available.

To put it simply: No, no I would not. :coffee:
 

Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
#19
But Kevin you get a "small popcorn" :ROFLMAO: That just seems counter productive, we'll give you all this stuff but to hell with it you're buying your own coke and don't be thinking medium sized popcorn! (Actually catching the movie on Saturday).
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
#20
Like the movie a lot but still I'm divided on the issue that zombie is strong but slow. So when in the movie they start runnin and jumping better than a pro athlete... Man, I'm scared. :notworthy:
 
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