The Brad Pitt-starring zombie apocalypse pic World War Z will lurch into theaters on December 21, 2012. The Paramount geo-political thriller is going up against some tough competition, as Ang Lee’s Life of Pi and Disney’s Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp are both opening the same weekend.
Pitt plays main character Gerry Lane, a United Nations employee who finds himself in a race against time as a zombie pandemic starts toppling governments and armies and threatening all of humanity. He must race around the globe, trying to stop the onslaught and also recording first-hand interviews with the survivors, records meant to last through the “plague years”.
Production is currently underway on World War Z, and the film is being directed by Marc Forster. Forster is known for more cerebral and character-driven dramas like Stranger Than Fiction and Monster’s Ball. His last attempt at an action/thriller was an installment in the Bond franchise, Quantum of Solace, which met with a communal mental shrug when it came out.
If Quantum is any indication of how he will handle World War Z, some might be worried. The violence and action scenes were directed in the highly stylized manner that makes it difficult to know what exactly is happening. The extreme close-ups and shaky camera effects also didn’t help with the trying to see what anything was doing in relation to anything else. There will no doubt be some major zombie violence and fighting action in World War Z, and hopefully Forster will balance the action with the dramatic and character elements better than in Quantum.
This film does pack a powerhouse of TV actors, co-starring Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Mireille Enos (The Killing), and James Badge Dale. Pitt leads the pack, both starring in and co-producing this horror pic, with the novel-to-screen adaptation penned by Matthew Michael Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski.
Based on a novel called “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War”, written by novelist Max Brooks, the film adaptation is in good hands script-wise. Carnahan has written some great action thrillers with good pacing and entertaining stories/dialogue like The Kingdom and State of Play. Hopefully he has stayed true to the literary elements of the source material, while bringing successful cinematic tension, pacing and action sequences to the table. No doubt we’ll have a better idea as trailers and sneak peeks start surfacing.
In addition to the release date, the film also received a new plot summary as well as some set pics, both of which can be seen below.
The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself. Enos plays Gerry’s wife Karen Lane; Kertesz is his comrade in arms, Segen.