Man, I was SO EXCITED when I first heard that the film adaptation of World War Z was in the works. To call it an ambitious project was a bit of an understatement, given the sprawling source material, so I suppose it shouldn't have been a huge surprise to see that the final story bears little resemblance to the (amazing) original book.
And by "little" I mean "apparently none whatsoever, except there are zombies." Those of us who are huge fans of the book will likely never stop bitching about how Paramount had an excellent story in their hands and totally squandered it into a big CGI explosionpalooza with Brad Pitt. However, given the newest movie poster and trailer, I'm holding out hope that the movie's estimated $200 million budget means that while we probably won't be getting the nuanced, feels-so-real-your-skin-crawls horror of Max Brooks' novel -- we just might be in for one hell of a zombie-filled popcorn disaster flick.
World War Z stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, a worker at the United Nations who searches the globe for information that can stop the zombie outbreak that is collapsing civilization. The movie itself has endured an astounding amount of clusterfuckedness since Plan B Entertainment (trivia: Plan B is a production company originally founded by Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston!) secured the rights in 2007. Filming began in July of 2011 with the intent of a December 2012 release, but it went through weeks of additional shooting, two different screenwriters called in at the final hour to rework the script, and a budget creep of almost $100 million.
It's worth noting that the original script, written way back in 2007, was once described thusly by Ain't It Cool News:
This isn't just a good adaptation of a difficult book ... it's a genre-defining piece of work that could well see us all arguing about whether or not a zombie movie qualifies as 'Best Picture' material.
Sadly, it has since been re-written completely by another screenwriter, before undergoing two more rewrites from two different people. So we'll never know what that original adaptation may have been like, and the current version has received more than a little criticism for the studio's initial CGI-heavy trailers.
The latest poster and trailer feels a little more intriguing, if you ignore zombie canon. In the film version, zombies are FAST, and apparently they're coordinated enough to scramble on top of each other to create creepy undead towers of ravenous monsters. We get a better idea of what Brad Pitt's character is up to in the film, and the sweeping shots of devastation are pretty eye-catching. Plus, get a load of the final scene in that commercial airliner -- GAHHH.
Here's the latest trailer:
("I am SICK and TIRED of these motherfucking zombies on this motherfucking PLANE!")
And here's the wonderfully iconic black and white poster art:
I find it interesting that we've yet to see a close-up zombie in any of these teasers. I wonder if the success of The Walking Dead influenced their decision to keep those images under wraps for now? AMC's FX work is so top-notch, if World War Z's walkers (runners?) are obviously inferior -- like if they relied too heavily on slick CGI -- there would likely be a huge backlash online.
Anyway, I'm bummed this movie isn't what it could have been, but what the heck, it's zombies. And Brad Pitt, who appears appropriately weary yet still leading-man-esque in the role. (Just look at those flowing locks!)
World War Z hits theaters on June 21 -- will you be watching? What do you think of the latest trailer and poster art?
Images via Paramount