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Damon Lindelof didn't want anyone to know he helped rewrite the ending of World War Z

05.15.2013

Very few feel the ire of fanboys quite like Damon Lindelof. Stemming from his days writing on LOST to last year's PROMETHEUS, Lindelof's name immediately pisses off a large portion of movie fans on the Internet. When it was reported that he was being brought in to help fix the ending of WORLD WAR Z, the floodgates opened and a million rage faces cried out in unison. Personally, I like Lindelof and think he works very well within the J.J. Abrams universe. But, I may be in the minority.

Lindelof is active online and has a popular Twitter feed, so he is definitely aware of his status amongst fans. With that in mind, it is interesting to learn that Lindelof himself didn't want anyone to know he was working on WORLD WAR Z as a way to protect the already troubled movie from the same backlash he has become accustomed to. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lindelof frankly explained his stance.

“The idea of a large-scale, epic, $150 million zombie movie starring Brad Pitt sounds pretty good to me. Because I haven’t seen that before. I haven’t seen the go-for-broke, insane zombie movie. What I really liked/love about World War Z was it just completely and totally leaned into the spectacle of large-scale zombie outbreak. Which I had just never seen before on film. One of the things that Brad said was, there are so many tropes we’ve come to expect in zombie films, and he wanted to do something different. And the only way to do it different was to do it big.

One of the things that I said when I first agreed to do it was, ‘Guys, we have to do this completely and totally under the table.’ I’ve done gigs like this before, and nobody has ever known that I’ve worked on those movies. I just got through the Prometheus experience, and if the story is, ‘Lindelof comes in to fix World War Z ending,’ it’ll bring, literally, the worst press you can ever imagine. And then, before I even commenced work, it broke that I’d been engaged. I guarantee that I will take all the blame if the movie doesn’t do well. That’s what I’m here for.”

I sense some sarcasm in those final sentences, but you if every writer in Hollywood took the vitriol some people on the Internet can spew, the suicide rate would go through the roof.  If WORLD WAR Z bombs, it will not be because of Lindelof but rather all of the issues that have come to light such as budget, egos, and a lack of a complete screenplay.

WORLD WAR Z will finally unleash it's PG-13 essence on screens everywhere on June 21, 2013.

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2:20AM on 05/17/2013
Lindelof is a man who has no idea how to end a story, and expects any mystery to have no real solution, which is a sign of a seriously fucked up writer. Plus, the guy was such a douche to the 'Lost' fans that I have to presume he's a smug asshole all the time in real life.
Lindelof is a man who has no idea how to end a story, and expects any mystery to have no real solution, which is a sign of a seriously fucked up writer. Plus, the guy was such a douche to the 'Lost' fans that I have to presume he's a smug asshole all the time in real life.
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+1
2:18PM on 05/16/2013
To be honest, the stigma everyone has for Damon Lindelof is a little much. Unfortunately, his work snowballed a negative light for him but give him some slack. There are MUCH worse writers out there. I was a fan of LOST until The End as well. It's misleading direction was a turn off, but you can't blame Lindelof for every mistake. There are other writers involved too. Prometheus was a mess, but the film didn't know what it wanted to be. I honestly don't know what to expect from World War Z.
To be honest, the stigma everyone has for Damon Lindelof is a little much. Unfortunately, his work snowballed a negative light for him but give him some slack. There are MUCH worse writers out there. I was a fan of LOST until The End as well. It's misleading direction was a turn off, but you can't blame Lindelof for every mistake. There are other writers involved too. Prometheus was a mess, but the film didn't know what it wanted to be. I honestly don't know what to expect from World War Z. Doesn't look emotionally gripping by any means. Pitt even said he chose to do this because he wanted to make a movie for the kids. And if that is any indication of what this film is, my expectations have fallen to the lowest rung.
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10:10AM on 05/16/2013

Lindelof

It's not about the movie doing well, it's about the movie being good ...
It's not about the movie doing well, it's about the movie being good ...
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+14
10:22PM on 05/15/2013
I dislike Damon Lindelof. Not personally, of course. He could be a swell guy for all I know, but I dislike his writing a great deal. Like so many misguided writers he confuses mystery with profundity. By saying nothing, he believes, I suppose, you will fill in the blanks and he will look like a genius for it. I just find it lazy. If you have nothing to express, no point of view worth sharing, then why the fuck become a writer? Every time I hear a writer spout,"It's up to the audience to
I dislike Damon Lindelof. Not personally, of course. He could be a swell guy for all I know, but I dislike his writing a great deal. Like so many misguided writers he confuses mystery with profundity. By saying nothing, he believes, I suppose, you will fill in the blanks and he will look like a genius for it. I just find it lazy. If you have nothing to express, no point of view worth sharing, then why the fuck become a writer? Every time I hear a writer spout,"It's up to the audience to decide." My immediate thought is, then why did they give you a fucking check?

I was a huge LOST fan, right up until the moment Lindelof and company revealed that it had, in fact, no idea where it was going and no idea why. They farted out the ending and ruined the whole series.

The addition of Prometheus was enough for me to label Lindelof King of the quasi-spiritual, mythologically shallow plot hole. My man cannot wait to throw some semi-religious meandering at you. As long as you don't expect it to go anywhere or express anything resembling a purpose or truth you will be well entertained. I actually liked Prometheus more than many, but the mythology was poorly planned and willfully obtuse.

He has a knack for characterization. I will grant him that. Anything I can remember him being involved with had strong character work. But his effort in plotting and executing an overarching mythology is some of the worst ever.
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10:35AM on 05/16/2013
you hit the nail on the head
you hit the nail on the head
10:00PM on 05/15/2013
I think Lindleof is a damn good writer. His ability to span out mythologies and connect characters is admirable. LOST is amazing, despite what critics say about the final season. And to be fair, Prometheus wasn't all his fault. Have you seen snippets from the original script and concept art that never made it to the film? It's way more incredible than the final cut.
I think Lindleof is a damn good writer. His ability to span out mythologies and connect characters is admirable. LOST is amazing, despite what critics say about the final season. And to be fair, Prometheus wasn't all his fault. Have you seen snippets from the original script and concept art that never made it to the film? It's way more incredible than the final cut.
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+0
9:00PM on 05/15/2013
Lindelof is one of the best writers in Hollywood. Let the fanboys cry.
Lindelof is one of the best writers in Hollywood. Let the fanboys cry.
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5:22PM on 05/15/2013
No shit. Your job is to come in and fix what's broken, not further tarnish the source material. Prometheus was terrible not because of Scott's ability to direct, the visuals, or overall premise. It was the piss poor character writing and decisions that were based nothing on logic (something a group of scientist are expected to follow). I have a feeling World War Z will be a piece of crap because of the writing and directing (the director's last work was one of the worst Bond films).
No shit. Your job is to come in and fix what's broken, not further tarnish the source material. Prometheus was terrible not because of Scott's ability to direct, the visuals, or overall premise. It was the piss poor character writing and decisions that were based nothing on logic (something a group of scientist are expected to follow). I have a feeling World War Z will be a piece of crap because of the writing and directing (the director's last work was one of the worst Bond films).
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4:44PM on 05/15/2013
I can understand the hate for Lindelof. The guy plays a big game, he just can't close. All his movies end with a typical cliffhanger ending or lose ends to the story. Audiences are willing to put up with thoughtful exposition which forces them to ask questions, but only if they're paid off in the end with the answers.
He can create incredible stories with really enriched themes and characters, but he is not the guy to end a story. I hope WWZ proves us all wrong, but I feel like this is a
I can understand the hate for Lindelof. The guy plays a big game, he just can't close. All his movies end with a typical cliffhanger ending or lose ends to the story. Audiences are willing to put up with thoughtful exposition which forces them to ask questions, but only if they're paid off in the end with the answers.
He can create incredible stories with really enriched themes and characters, but he is not the guy to end a story. I hope WWZ proves us all wrong, but I feel like this is a production too plagued to be cured at this point.
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4:50PM on 05/15/2013
Not a bad analysis, my man. Agreed that if WWZ's final act falls flat, it can't be pinned entirely on Lindelof.
Not a bad analysis, my man. Agreed that if WWZ's final act falls flat, it can't be pinned entirely on Lindelof.
+5
4:38PM on 05/15/2013

C'Mon, Man!

I'm a big fan of Lindelof's.

Think he's a bright, creative guy, and I like his work.

Thought THR interview was real good; nice and honest.

LOST is my favorite TV series, despite its shortcomings, and Prometheus was a helluva good time, despite also being a mess.

I'm all good for more Lindelof.
I'm a big fan of Lindelof's.

Think he's a bright, creative guy, and I like his work.

Thought THR interview was real good; nice and honest.

LOST is my favorite TV series, despite its shortcomings, and Prometheus was a helluva good time, despite also being a mess.

I'm all good for more Lindelof.
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4:33PM on 05/15/2013
"The idea of a large-scale, epic, $150 million zombie movie starring Brad Pitt sounds pretty good to me."

This statement goes a long way in explaining why so much of Hollywood's current output is utterly moronic shit.
"The idea of a large-scale, epic, $150 million zombie movie starring Brad Pitt sounds pretty good to me."

This statement goes a long way in explaining why so much of Hollywood's current output is utterly moronic shit.
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4:26PM on 05/15/2013

No interest

They had an awesomely original novel to adapt this movie from but instead this movie looks like another generic action film. It looks like this movie is associated with the novel in title only. On the other hand, I don't get all the hate for Lindelof as I think he is a pretty talented writer with unique concepts but I also admit he struggles with the third act of most of his work. But unlike some other writers he does accept the criticism for his work and engages his critics on Twitter which I
They had an awesomely original novel to adapt this movie from but instead this movie looks like another generic action film. It looks like this movie is associated with the novel in title only. On the other hand, I don't get all the hate for Lindelof as I think he is a pretty talented writer with unique concepts but I also admit he struggles with the third act of most of his work. But unlike some other writers he does accept the criticism for his work and engages his critics on Twitter which I commend him for.
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+7
4:05PM on 05/15/2013
Didn't realize Lindeloff pissed off that many people. If I remember correctly, wasn't Lindeloff there for most of LOST. So, despite all the negative aspects, he also had a hand in the good elements to one of TV's best shows...ever. I also remember Prometheus being good and being hailed as good by people who saw it and by critics (it has a 74% on RT with critics and 72% with audiences). So, I don't really understand the hate. I think people are blinded by the destination and forget the journey.
Didn't realize Lindeloff pissed off that many people. If I remember correctly, wasn't Lindeloff there for most of LOST. So, despite all the negative aspects, he also had a hand in the good elements to one of TV's best shows...ever. I also remember Prometheus being good and being hailed as good by people who saw it and by critics (it has a 74% on RT with critics and 72% with audiences). So, I don't really understand the hate. I think people are blinded by the destination and forget the journey. I'll admit LOST got...well....lost and Prometheus wasn't great but merely good (which seems to make it, in most people's eyes, bad), but I've never seen anything Lindelof has had a part in that was just bad. I mean, he did also write for Star Trek Into Darkness, and that is getting rave reviews all over. So again, what am I failing to understand here?
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5:37PM on 05/15/2013
Ya, he also had a hand is making it one of the worst shows ever.
Ya, he also had a hand is making it one of the worst shows ever.
3:48PM on 05/15/2013
You sign Lindelof to write an ending, huh?....It's something he's GREAT at, so there will be no problem at all. How marvelous!
You sign Lindelof to write an ending, huh?....It's something he's GREAT at, so there will be no problem at all. How marvelous!
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5:24PM on 05/15/2013
We can expect gaping plot holes and more ambiguity than answers, yay!
We can expect gaping plot holes and more ambiguity than answers, yay!
5:36PM on 05/15/2013
Right on! ;-)
Right on! ;-)
2:54PM on 05/15/2013
Never watched Lost so I haven't grown to hate him.
Never watched Lost so I haven't grown to hate him.
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9:03PM on 05/15/2013
LOST would cause you to grow to love him. Unless you are a whiny little bitch.
LOST would cause you to grow to love him. Unless you are a whiny little bitch.
+16
2:52PM on 05/15/2013

Baffling...

What I find baffling, is that the creators of WWZ, already faced with a troubled production, turned to him to try and fix the 3rd Act. This is a guy who has messed up the 3rd act on almost every single project he's been involved in. Why would you do that? Lindelof comes up with fantastic ideas and then drops the ball when trying to bring them to fruition. He's phenomenal at high-concept but routinely disappoints. It's too bad too, because he could be the best in the business. But he acts
What I find baffling, is that the creators of WWZ, already faced with a troubled production, turned to him to try and fix the 3rd Act. This is a guy who has messed up the 3rd act on almost every single project he's been involved in. Why would you do that? Lindelof comes up with fantastic ideas and then drops the ball when trying to bring them to fruition. He's phenomenal at high-concept but routinely disappoints. It's too bad too, because he could be the best in the business. But he acts like it's just fanboys that don't like him. His stuff makes money, but its fast food.
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2:40PM on 05/15/2013

his statements only prove why everyone hates him

"the only way to do it different was to do it big"? No, the best way to do it different was to do it the way it was done in the book - fresh on the heals of the eradication of the zombie threat, going back and learning how it happened. THAT'S something we've never seen in a zombie movie before. EVERY zombie movie is about survival and eliminating the threat, the only thing this is doing is instead of focusing on that one small town, it shows what's going on all over the world, which is
"the only way to do it different was to do it big"? No, the best way to do it different was to do it the way it was done in the book - fresh on the heals of the eradication of the zombie threat, going back and learning how it happened. THAT'S something we've never seen in a zombie movie before. EVERY zombie movie is about survival and eliminating the threat, the only thing this is doing is instead of focusing on that one small town, it shows what's going on all over the world, which is something we're aware is happening in movies such as Dawn of the Dead, we just never actually see it. We've never seen what's happened after the threat is over, how it changes the world, etc., etc. That's what World War Z is SUPPOSED to be about. But once again, Lindeloff just doesn't get it.
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2:56PM on 05/15/2013
You obviously didn't read it correctly. Brad Pitt was the one that said, "The only way to do it different was to do it big?"
You obviously didn't read it correctly. Brad Pitt was the one that said, "The only way to do it different was to do it big?"
3:46PM on 05/15/2013
"No, the best way to do it different was to do it the way it was done in the book"

How is that in any way doing it differently?...In no way is it.
"No, the best way to do it different was to do it the way it was done in the book"

How is that in any way doing it differently?...In no way is it.
-1
2:38PM on 05/15/2013

Lindelof is moderately safe on this one.

The movie was destined to fail (at least from the perspective of fans of the book) because the trailer showed the exact opposite of what we were expecting. Problem the first? Fast moving zombies. The dead giveaway that this film wasn't what the fans were expecting was the fact that they changed the nature of the antagonist right out of the gate. Unless Lindelof gives us the Battle of Yonkers as a final act and sets up a "turning the tide" / "total war" concept for any possible sequels I don't
The movie was destined to fail (at least from the perspective of fans of the book) because the trailer showed the exact opposite of what we were expecting. Problem the first? Fast moving zombies. The dead giveaway that this film wasn't what the fans were expecting was the fact that they changed the nature of the antagonist right out of the gate. Unless Lindelof gives us the Battle of Yonkers as a final act and sets up a "turning the tide" / "total war" concept for any possible sequels I don't see the fanboys letting ANYONE off the hook.
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2:34PM on 05/15/2013

Lindelof is moderately safe on this one.

The movie was destined to fail (at least from the perspective of fans of the book) because the trailer showed the exact opposite of what we were expecting. Problem the first? Fast moving zombies. The dead giveaway that this film wasn't what the fans were expecting was the fact that they changed the nature of the antagonist right out of the gate. Unless Lindelof gives us the Battle of Yonkers as a final act and sets up a "turning the tide" / "total war" concept for any possible sequels I don't
The movie was destined to fail (at least from the perspective of fans of the book) because the trailer showed the exact opposite of what we were expecting. Problem the first? Fast moving zombies. The dead giveaway that this film wasn't what the fans were expecting was the fact that they changed the nature of the antagonist right out of the gate. Unless Lindelof gives us the Battle of Yonkers as a final act and sets up a "turning the tide" / "total war" concept for any possible sequels I don't see the fanboys letting ANYONE off the hook.
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+27
2:25PM on 05/15/2013
who the fuck wants to see a pg-13 zombie movie anyway. even if walking dead was in the theater the gore would get it an R rating
who the fuck wants to see a pg-13 zombie movie anyway. even if walking dead was in the theater the gore would get it an R rating
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2:22PM on 05/15/2013
"... Lindelof's name immediately pisses off a large portion of movie fans on the Internet."

Absolutely.
"... Lindelof's name immediately pisses off a large portion of movie fans on the Internet."

Absolutely.
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