It sadly comes with no surprise that all reports surrounding Marc Forster’s upcoming big-budget zombie blockbuster World War Z are pointing towards an action tentpole kind of summer flick with little substance, plenty of explosions, and an absolute disregard for Max Brooks’ genius source material. While the woes that have plagued Forster’s film have been publicly displayed for all to witness (reshoots, rewrites, flat out ignorance), I’ve already tackled that in a little article I wrote last week detailing the events that led to a ballooning budget and a mighty hole Paramount now has to dig out of, so I’ll spare you the whole “will World War Z flop” routine this time around.
If you’re interested in that kind of prediction, go ahead and click the above link, because now I want to discuss Paramount’s decision to dumb Max Brooks’ material down to a PG-13 thrill ride with a superhero-like lead in Brad Pitt. If you’re just going to yell at me and say “don’t judge a film until you’ve seen it,” don’t worry, I completely agree with you and will still give a fair assessment come the release date. That doesn’t mean I can’t break out my crystal ball and pull a Miss Cleo before hand though! If I’m wrong, eh, no biggie, but if I’m right, then you can be sure the phrase “I told you so” will be plastered all over my writing.
So let’s jump right into this – what do we know? Well, here are the facts. World War Z is PG-13, has very little to do with Brooks’ original geopolitical thematics, underwent reshoots because the ending was too “harsh,” trailers show mainly CGI zombies, Brad Pitt will inevitably save the world, and anyone expecting a tell-all mockumentary about a great apocalyptic zombie war will be severely let down by Forster’s movie. World War Z was optioned for name only, literally just taking the general idea of a global zombie epidemic. Brooks’ material has been gutted and replaced with nothing but popcorn, dollar signs, wavy hair, and some I Am Legend looking baddies who form tsunami waves of zombies.
But OK, out of fairness, I won’t launching into my ramblings about how Brooks got the shaft by not being brought in on scripting or consulting duties initially, because everyone just has to accept once and for all that the World War Z movie is going to be its own entity. Just lick your wounds now book fans, there’s no point in prolonging the pain. No, my initial problems with Forster’s World War Z will be completely unrelated to the fact that Max Brooks’ novel doesn’t deal with fast moving zombies, doesn’t have some action hero type lead, doesn’t shove aside important issues about societal unpreparedness for large action sequences, doesn’t strive to be accepted by all demographics – sorry, ranting, right, not focusing on the differences between our upcoming movie and the book. Forster’s movie will be nothing but a blockbuster, let’s be fair.