The Brad Pitt zombie vehicle World War Z, based on the 2006 novel by Max Brooks, is in full promotional mode now with posters, and trailers, and everything. I know, right? But there’s a curious element that Plan B Entertainment and Paramount have chosen to leave out of all footage and posters – the fact that it is clearly about zombies. Whether it’s the John Carter situation all over again, whereby the studio didn’t want to call the film by its rightful title John Carter of Mars due to some bizarre pre-conceived notion that sci-fi movies don’t sell, or not, is something that Brad Pitt and the director Marc Forster will have to wrestle with.
Are they banking on the audience not realising that Z is in fact a letter, not a number? And that in terms of post-apocalyptic fiction, Z is usually a good indication that zombies will be included, at some point? Dragon Ball Z aside, of course. Not yet anyway.
With The Walking Dead turning into one of the biggest smash hits on television, you’d think that the producers of World War Z(ombie) would want to cash in on the undead trend. Unless by not mentioning the Z-word, or the U-word, they hope to differentiate themselves from what they would class as a substandard rash of zombie fiction? If it’s the latter, they have a point. There is certainly a surplus of fictional zombie detritus.
It’s the release of a first-look featurette that has brought all of these grumblings to the surface, like some sort of recently revived cadaver (if only such a thing had a name). The featurette, shown below, looks more like an action film than a straight horror, which may be to the film’s credit. But can the film overcome its already negative word-of-mouth? You’d better check the featurette for yourself, before you go ahead and wreck yourself.
June 21st is the date when we’ll either commit hari-kuru from embarrassment at how wrong we were, or rejoice in our group coronation into the kingship of the kingdom of rightness. That’s the date World War Z is released by the way.