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Damon Lindelof to rewrite the troubled Brad Pitt zombie epic World War Z

06.08.2012by:

Looks like the Brad Pitt starrer WORLD WAR Z is in troubled waters.  With rumors of a troubled production, the Marc Forster (QUANTUM OF SOLACE) film, based on the novel by Max Brooks, is now getting a complete overhaul by Lost and PROMETHEUS scripter Damon Lindelof.

Apparantly, Lindelof's job will be to focus on the film's third act, which I always felt was weak after reading J. Michael Straczynski's script (later reworked by Matthew Michael Carnahan).  The novel by Max Brooks is an intricately woven tale that intertwines numerous stories during the zombie apocolypse, making for an exceptionally difficult translation.  It's a great book, but some may argue that it's nearly unfilmmable in terms of a narrative structure.

So, really, given the difficulty of adapting the source material this isn't that surprising of news, but you have to wonder if maybe the filmmakers got in over their head a little too late in the game.

The film synopsis goes like this:

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.

This is a very different direction from the book, which leans more toward a journalist collecting stories about the outbreak, rather than being in a race against time to stop it.

The recent shift in a release date from December 2012 to June 2013 should give them time for the rewrite and reshoots, which the studio hopes to begin by September-October timeframe. 

With the recent changes made to G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, both in terms of release date and reshoots, this seems like another nail in the coffin for Paramount, who aren't necessarily on a roll these days. 

WORLD WAR Z is currently slated to open on June 21, 2013.

What do you guys think?

Extra Tidbit: If you haven't read World War Z and are on the fence about checking it out, I give my recommendation. It's a surprisingly detailed and human story mixed up with some good ol' zombie nastiness. Give it a shot.

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+10
12:11AM on 06/09/2012

Oh god

So we're gonna get a zombie film that's going to introduce a bunch of vague and mildly philosophical and religious questions in the third act, only for them to be ignored and not answered by the end, ala, Lost and Prometheus?? Hooray! God I hope Lindelof isn't a Blade Runner fan..
So we're gonna get a zombie film that's going to introduce a bunch of vague and mildly philosophical and religious questions in the third act, only for them to be ignored and not answered by the end, ala, Lost and Prometheus?? Hooray! God I hope Lindelof isn't a Blade Runner fan..
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7:49PM on 06/08/2012
Max Brooks, the author of WWZ, has already said that they murdered his baby long before this production became "troubled".
Max Brooks, the author of WWZ, has already said that they murdered his baby long before this production became "troubled".
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+9
4:10PM on 06/08/2012

C'Mon

Not this guy again. Between Lost and Prometheus he is the go to guy for vague concepts that go nowhere and plot holes. Is there not another sci-fi writer in Hollywood right now?

It's a shame about WWZ. I was really looking forward to it. Just seems like a mess now. The book is surprisingly good.
Not this guy again. Between Lost and Prometheus he is the go to guy for vague concepts that go nowhere and plot holes. Is there not another sci-fi writer in Hollywood right now?

It's a shame about WWZ. I was really looking forward to it. Just seems like a mess now. The book is surprisingly good.
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4:33PM on 06/08/2012
Its impossible to turn World War Z into a movie, or even a trilogy. Only a full-blown HBO 8-part miniseries could do it justice.
Its impossible to turn World War Z into a movie, or even a trilogy. Only a full-blown HBO 8-part miniseries could do it justice.
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+6
11:31PM on 06/09/2012

The Third Act?!?!

As a fan of 'LOST' and having watched 'Prometheus' I have to wonder.... is Damon the right guy to touch up the portion of the script that 'wraps everything up and answers the posed questions?" Its been my experience that's not exactly his strong suit.
As a fan of 'LOST' and having watched 'Prometheus' I have to wonder.... is Damon the right guy to touch up the portion of the script that 'wraps everything up and answers the posed questions?" Its been my experience that's not exactly his strong suit.
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3:22PM on 06/08/2012
There's too much studio-fingering for this to turn out good.
There's too much studio-fingering for this to turn out good.
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11:30PM on 06/08/2012
Will somebody explain the value of even calling it World War Z at this point? Anyone who was a fan of the book will feel betrayed (even if the movie is good, it ruins any chance for a film that's true to the book); anyone who hasn't read the book won't care about the title anyway (if this was a Stephen King book you could argue that his name would draw people, but Max Brooks has no name recognition at all aside from his famous father).
Will somebody explain the value of even calling it World War Z at this point? Anyone who was a fan of the book will feel betrayed (even if the movie is good, it ruins any chance for a film that's true to the book); anyone who hasn't read the book won't care about the title anyway (if this was a Stephen King book you could argue that his name would draw people, but Max Brooks has no name recognition at all aside from his famous father).
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4:42PM on 06/08/2012

Lindelof should be the guy you go to for a beginning.

...NOT to rewrite the closing act of your project. Geeze. Interestingly, Matthew Fox (Jack from Lost) is in this movie. Maybe Lindelof will give him an extra scene where tears gather in his eyes before swelling into little drops that cascade down his chiseled cheekbone as he frantically blinks and looks like a lost puppy. I miss Jackface.
...NOT to rewrite the closing act of your project. Geeze. Interestingly, Matthew Fox (Jack from Lost) is in this movie. Maybe Lindelof will give him an extra scene where tears gather in his eyes before swelling into little drops that cascade down his chiseled cheekbone as he frantically blinks and looks like a lost puppy. I miss Jackface.
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9:23PM on 06/08/2012
Brad Pitt was on a streak of great film in the last couple of years. This will ruin it.
Brad Pitt was on a streak of great film in the last couple of years. This will ruin it.
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+3
7:24PM on 06/08/2012

George Lucas Film School

When your studio only makes a handful of films each year, I guess it's okay to double the production... a year in! Holy hell, this is bad news for such a promising group of filmmakers. Sloppy.
When your studio only makes a handful of films each year, I guess it's okay to double the production... a year in! Holy hell, this is bad news for such a promising group of filmmakers. Sloppy.
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4:53PM on 06/08/2012
Looks like Paramount has pretty much written 2012 off as a loss. Hope they didn't blow all that Transformers money already.
Looks like Paramount has pretty much written 2012 off as a loss. Hope they didn't blow all that Transformers money already.
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3:12AM on 06/09/2012
World War Z is my favorite novel of all time. And now this... Seven weeks of reshoots and new writer at this point can't be a good thing.

It's going to suck, isn't it?
World War Z is my favorite novel of all time. And now this... Seven weeks of reshoots and new writer at this point can't be a good thing.

It's going to suck, isn't it?
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10:51PM on 06/08/2012
I really liked the book but this movie seems fucked I'm quickly losing hope.
I really liked the book but this movie seems fucked I'm quickly losing hope.
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9:56PM on 06/08/2012
why does it look like brad Pitt, and the actor on the far left are in some sort of battle armor? The guy on the left even has some sort of spear. Is this part of the book? I really hope this film turns out well, but I have my doubts.
why does it look like brad Pitt, and the actor on the far left are in some sort of battle armor? The guy on the left even has some sort of spear. Is this part of the book? I really hope this film turns out well, but I have my doubts.
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3:14PM on 06/08/2012

NOOOOOOOOOOOO

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO this little fucker ruined Prometheus.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO this little fucker ruined Prometheus.
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3:28PM on 06/08/2012
how?
how?
3:44PM on 06/08/2012
He ruined it because so many things were not explained. Both things that needed an explanation and character actions that made no sense. His script did F up Prometheus.
He ruined it because so many things were not explained. Both things that needed an explanation and character actions that made no sense. His script did F up Prometheus.
7:26PM on 06/08/2012
Prometheus was epic.
Prometheus was epic.
6:23AM on 06/11/2012
This does not bode well. I would have preferred a retrospective retelling of the zombie war like the book. This now offers nothing new to the z-genre.
This does not bode well. I would have preferred a retrospective retelling of the zombie war like the book. This now offers nothing new to the z-genre.
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+1
6:59PM on 06/08/2012
So.. this is the "trend" now, ha Hollywood?
So.. this is the "trend" now, ha Hollywood?
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11:25AM on 06/11/2012

Oh dear...

I do not like Lindelof's lazy writing. Sure he's good at building a sense of mystery, but in my opinion that's the easy part. Before anyone chimes in with 'we don't need everything explained for us!', neither do I... but there's a big difference between inserting clues and hints for the audience to pick up on and leaving everything absolutely unanswered/ ignored. I think I'll save my money on this one and use it to buy a copy of the book instead.
I do not like Lindelof's lazy writing. Sure he's good at building a sense of mystery, but in my opinion that's the easy part. Before anyone chimes in with 'we don't need everything explained for us!', neither do I... but there's a big difference between inserting clues and hints for the audience to pick up on and leaving everything absolutely unanswered/ ignored. I think I'll save my money on this one and use it to buy a copy of the book instead.
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3:40PM on 06/08/2012

I'm a big fan of both Lindelof and the book

But this film was kind of doomed from the start and a rewrite and 7 weeks of re-shooting this late in the game! This truly has disaster written all over it. Hollywood really needs to start out with a good screenplay BEFORE actually making a damn film! At least everyone can still read the book or listen to the audio version, both of which are very good!
But this film was kind of doomed from the start and a rewrite and 7 weeks of re-shooting this late in the game! This truly has disaster written all over it. Hollywood really needs to start out with a good screenplay BEFORE actually making a damn film! At least everyone can still read the book or listen to the audio version, both of which are very good!
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3:53PM on 06/08/2012

WHAT THE CRAP!?

Brad Pitt is cursed. He makes all these movies that get delayed for literally years and/or drastically altered from the original concept and then come out to a horrifically limited theatrical run OR they end up sucking ass. Good for him, taking chances and all, but again, WHAT THE CRAP!?
Brad Pitt is cursed. He makes all these movies that get delayed for literally years and/or drastically altered from the original concept and then come out to a horrifically limited theatrical run OR they end up sucking ass. Good for him, taking chances and all, but again, WHAT THE CRAP!?
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3:59PM on 06/08/2012
What films are you referring to, other than Jesse James and the recent gangster movie he shot (which screened at Cannes to great reviews)? I think there are far more actors whose productions run into issues...Brad Pitt is still very much a mainstream Hollywood actor, and most of the projects he chooses go smoothly as a result.
What films are you referring to, other than Jesse James and the recent gangster movie he shot (which screened at Cannes to great reviews)? I think there are far more actors whose productions run into issues...Brad Pitt is still very much a mainstream Hollywood actor, and most of the projects he chooses go smoothly as a result.
4:19PM on 06/08/2012
yea i thought he was great in Burn After Beading
yea i thought he was great in Burn After Beading
5:22PM on 06/08/2012
Wait what lol? Brad Pitt is cursed? He's one of the biggest box office draws in the world and has been nominated for 2 Oscars in 4 years. Unless by "cursed" you mean "having one of the best careers of anyone in Hollywood".
Wait what lol? Brad Pitt is cursed? He's one of the biggest box office draws in the world and has been nominated for 2 Oscars in 4 years. Unless by "cursed" you mean "having one of the best careers of anyone in Hollywood".
3:19PM on 06/08/2012
From the director of Quantum of Solace... 'nuff said.
From the director of Quantum of Solace... 'nuff said.
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