Paramount has dated movie ‘World War Z,’ which it describes as a geo-political thriller, to open four days before Christmas Day. Brad Pitt stars in and is producing the thriller, now shooting in England. The movie completed initial photography in Malta last month and also will also shoot in Scotland and Hungary.
The ambitious script was written by Matthew Michael Carnahan (“State of Play”), who adapted it from Max Brooks’ best-selling novel “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.” While the book “An Oral History of The Zombie War,” and is written in a retrospective style, the big screen version, according to a press release, is an in-the-moment action flick:
The director is Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace). In addition to Pitt, the movie stars Mireille Enos (“The Killing”), James Badge Dale (“The Departed”), Matthew Fox (“Lost”) and newcomer Daniella Kertesz.
Pitt is producing with Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Colin Wilson. The move puts the Bratt Pitt movie on a collision course with Disney’s ‘The Lone Ranger,’ starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, as well as Fox’s Tobey Maguire drama ‘Life of Pi.’
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.
Behind-the-scenes talent includes two-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson (The Aviator; JFK), production designer Nigel Phelps (Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo (Avatar) and Academy Award-nominated editor Matt Chessè (Finding Neverland).
And it’s only a week after the release of Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ which opens Dec. 14. But the Christmas holiday has proven to be the most lucrative time of the year, with the market able to support multiple films.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is a 2006 post-apocalyptic horror novel by Max Brooks. It is a follow-up to his 2003 book The Zombie Survival Guide. Rather than a grand overview or narrative, World War Z is a collection of individual accounts in the form of first-person anecdote.
Brooks plays the role of an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission who published the report a decade after the Zombie War.
The United Nations left out much of his work from the official report, choosing to focus on facts and figures from the war rather than the individual stories that form the bulk of Brooks’ novel. The interviews chart a decade-long war against zombies from the view point of many different people of various nationalities.
The personal accounts also describe the changing religious, geo-political, and environmental aftermath of the Zombie War.
World War Z was inspired by The Good War, an oral history of World War II by Studs Terkel; and by the zombie films of director George A. Romero. Brooks used World War Z to comment on social issues like government ineptitude and American isolationism, while also examining themes of survivalism and uncertainty.
Critics have praised the novel for reinventing the zombie genre; the audiobook version, performed by a full cast including Alan Alda, Mark Hamill and John Turturro, won an Audie Award in 2007. A film based upon the book is in production, produced by UTV Motion Pictures and Plan B Entertainment, with a screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan. [via Huffpost, The Hollywood Reporter and Reuters]