Based on nothing but the trouble it faced to even make it to the big screen, World War Z shouldn’t have been a success. After all, we’re talking about a blockbuster that history will remember as one of the most troubled productions Hollywood has ever seen.
Shooting kicked off in July 2011 with a $125 million budget in place, but by the time Brad Pitt thwarted the undead uprising in theaters, it was June 2013 and the costs had rocketed to a figure some analysts placed as high as $269 million.
Throughout that time, seven weeks of reshoots were ordered as World War Z kept getting delayed, with Damon Lindelof brought on to rewrite the entire third act and Drew Goddard hired to rewrite the rewrites after Lindelof ran out of time. Entire action scenes that had been filmed at great expense were scrapped, new characters were added at the last minute, and everyone was expecting a colossal flop.
Somehow, though, World War Z went on to become both the highest-grossing zombie movie ever made and the biggest box office hit of Pitt’s career after earning a solid $540 million, while reviews were a lot kinder than they had any right to be. The sequel almost definitely isn’t happening, but the original has managed to find a place on Hulu’s Top 10 most-watched list, as per FlixPatrol.