World War Z Trailer

World War Z                                           World War Z Poster

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.

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5 thoughts on “World War Z Trailer

  1. HS

    So, what I can tell from the trailer is that zombies happen and Brad Pitt flies all over the world in a helicopter presumably to make them not happen anymore? Is that the gist of it?

    I can’t remember anything about Quantum of Solace – I keep trying but it just seems to delete itself from my memory. I’d say the films of his that I’ve seen have a tendency to over sentimentalise and/or lack subtlety. This film seems to have had so many problems – didn’t they film quite a lot of it before scrapping the whole thing and starting again? I’ll be happy to be wrong but I’d be surprised if it turns out to be very successful. The CGI looks atrocious, perhaps it’ll look better in the finished product but I can’t say it’s inspiring much confidence.

    I love James Badge Dale though, I wish they’d stuck to the original intentions with Rubicon – it had one of the most promising pilots I’ve ever seen but the network’s decision to fire the showrunner after four episodes and move to a ‘crisis of the week’ format completely destroyed anything that was interesting about it. He’s such a great actor though I hope he gets some more (and better) work.

    1. The production has been plagued with problems and there have been re-shoots of the ending. I can take bad CGI (I enjoyed the low-budget Asylum movie Zombie Apocalypse) and even Marc Foster’s direction but my main problem is that the script has shrunk the scope of the story which was its main selling point. As a result I have become rather indifferent to the film. James Badge Dale is a great actor as demonstrated by Shame. Rubicon bored me after a few episodes.

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