Release Date: 21st June 2012 (US)
Running Time: N/A
Director: Marc Foster
Writer: Max Brooks (Original Novel), J Michael Straczynski (Original Screenplay), Matthew Michael Carnahan (First Rewrite), Drew Goddard (Second Rewrite)
Starring: Brad Pitt, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox, David Morse, Bryan Cranston, Elyes Gabel, Mireille Enos,
The trailer for zombie apocalypse film World War Z has been released and what once had the potential to be an awesome zombie film looks to have become a rather generic zed-head shooter.
A U.N. employee (Pitt) races across the world and tries to stop the spread of the zombie epidemic.
Despite my initial, albeit subdued, enthusiasm for World War Z that I displayed when I first posted a video of location shooting in Glasgow my feeling for the movie adaptation of World War Z was that it would change. The story was an original take on the zombie genre and after reading the novel I understood that the challenge for the writers would be in shaping the fractured narrative of the book into a film. The book was structured as a U.N. report which corralled different sources together, creating a global perspective on the zombie pandemic. This was unique and while some of the sources skirted along the lines of stereotype it was still visceral stuff to read. The film has shrunk it done to follow one person in fewer locations which is… boring.
Adapting it for the big screen must have been tough and the number of writers, most high-profile, speaks volumes about the difficulty of the task. It started with J. Michael Straczynski (creator of Babylon 5) before the writing job was handed to Matthew Michael Carnahan (Lions for Lambs, State of Play, The Kingdom) before his rewrite was handed to Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods). At one point, Damon Lindelhof, one of the writers of Lost and the man who turned in a lacklustre re-write of the script for Prometheus, was involved. I can see the novel working better as a TV series than a movie lasting 90 minutes.
That said the trailer does have some thrilling moments. With the running zombies (think of the infected from 28 Days Later), there are plenty of chases that look like they have been well shot. That coupled with all of the crowd scenes with zombies surging around capture the terror that mobs/crowds hold, adds a little frisson to the action. The sight of those zombies climbing up the large wall was pretty gut-churning.
The film is directed by Marc Foster who directed Quantum of Solace and Monsters Ball. Quantum of Solace was okay. While the script for that film was pretty dull, the action was visually satisfying, highly kinetic and well done. The cast is interesting as it includes mega star Brad Pitt, Bryan Cranston (Drive) and some great TV names like like James Badge Dale (Shame, Rubicon) and Matthew Fox (Lost, Speed Racer). Still… I have become indifferent to the film thanks to the changes in the story.