‘Prometheus’ Scribe Damon Lindelof to Rewrite ‘World War Z’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

The World War Z movie adaptation has traveled a pothole-ridden road on its journey to the big screen. Things started off rough as the project lingered in pre-production limbo for around two and a half years, before (nearly) falling apart due to a lack of funding. However, financiers like Skydance Productions (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) finally stepped in, preventing the WWZ movie from suffering a complete collapse – and pushing it on down the production pipeline, towards a Winter 2012 theatrical release.

WWZ was then delayed until Summer 2013, which did not (initially) seem like a big deal; that is, until recently, when reports emerged that the film will undergo a substantial seven extra weeks of photography.

Heat Vision has provided further confirmation that World War Z is having issues, with its report that Lost-co-creator Damon Lindelof – who happens to be the co-writer of Prometheus and a contributor to the script for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek 2 - has been hired on to rework the WWZ screenplay.

An early draft of the WWZ script was written by J. Michael Straczynski (Changeling), who reportedly stuck pretty close to Max Brooks’ source material – which charts the history of humankind’s war against the undead, along with the rebuilding of civilization in the aftermath, through a series of interviews with survivors. The screenplay was then reworked by Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom). In its current form, the WWZ script is said to revolve around the interviewer from Brooks’ novel (Brad Pitt): a United Nations employee, who must race against time to prevent a zombie pandemic “threatening to decimate humanity itself.”

Brad Pitt on the set of 'World War Z'

Debates about which narrative structure would’ve been best for the World War Z movie – the interview-framed original design (a la Interview with the Vampire) or the A-lister-saves-the-world approach (a la I, Robot), are sure to continue, even now that Lindelof is giving the script a rewrite. To clarify: with Prometheus, Lindelof is said to have proven essential to the task of transforming that film from a straightforward Alien prequel into more of a spinoff. However, for WWZ, Lindelof is reportedly going to focus primarily on cleaning up the third act.

Does that means Lindelof could potentially be revamping the conclusion to WWZ so that it gives rise to a trilogy more organically – or, conversely, refashioning the ending so the film is more stand-alone? Bear in mind, that’s pure speculation at this point; still, either scenario seems feasible (given the circumstances).

World War Z remains scheduled to begin its U.S. theatrical run on June 21st, 2013.

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Source: THR

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  1. They should have stuck with J. Michael Straczynski’s original script. The guy’s an awesome writer. It’s not likely the final result will be as good.

    • Agree with you,he is a Hell of a good Storyteller !
      Underrated sadly !

  2. I have a feeling that since he was so pivotal into turning Prometheus into a stand alone story, the reworking will most likely do just that. Make the plot work as a single movie. I think the previous script probably already positioned the film as a franchise starter.

  3. Don’t let the man near anything movie related. Let him stick to television, he ruined Prometheus, its like finally getting a date with your dreamgirl but you find out she has multiple STD’s and five kids.

    • How do you know he ruined the film? Did you see it. It just came out.

    • 100% agreed.

    • I 100% agree. The script/plot lines in Prometheus was just aweful. We went with a group on Alien fans and half of them walked out. They couldn’t even finish the movie. The movie was ok but nothing close to the hype. I have soo much more confidence in Straczynski than Lindelof.

      • uhh thats the problem, you guys went in looking for an Alien prequel when all along they have repeatedly said this has nothing to do with Alien, its only in the same universe. Its a great sci-fi flick, much better than anything that’s come out recently.

        • Even if the guy was shooting to make a movie that wasn’t an Alien prequel, what he made was an abomination. He dropped a deuce in theaters the world wide and has been trying to pass off the horrible writing as a grand mystery/puzzle that we weren’t meant to solve now.

          The whole thing is just plain crap – all of it. I went with people who aren’t sci-fi fans and they thought it was a confused mess. I know the Aliens franchise and I’d say it was a confused mess. There is a reason this turd lost to a bunch of cartoon animals…

    • I concur. Lindelhof is the Antichrist. He butchered this film. For every answer he asks 3 questions. He is going to mess up Star Trek 2.

  4. Damon Lindelof coming onboard can only be a good thing
    to compound the right prescription to doctor this production.

  5. why change it so drastically from the plot of the book? will be very disappointed if it ends up as just another disaster movie.

  6. Rewriting the script after 80% of the movie’s been shot doesn’t leave a lot of freedom for a writer. How does this work out?

    • Actually they were 100% done with principle shooting and were in the process if scheduling 2 months of reshoots.

      Reworking the script NOW just seems like a near impossible task since they would be required to keep as much of the already shot material as possible.

      Why they just didn’t stick with the original script (which as a close adaption of the book) I don’t get. If you don’t like the source material as is……DO NOT MAKE THE DAMN MOVIE.

  7. What mess this has turned into.
    I haven’t seen Prometheus yet but I’m a fan of Lindelof’s prior work so hope remains but at this point it’s getting pretty low.

  8. There is enough blame to go around, Forster showed with Quantum of Solace he doesn’t know how to direct a big budget blockbuster, essentially reshooting the entire movie can’t be a good thing. This movie is doomed can’t say I’m a fan of Lindelof’s writing.

  9. Re-working the third act sounds like the movie just had no ending, which is never a good thing. And having three writers and shooting seven weeks of “additional” footage makes it sound like this movie might lack some cohesion if not edited properly.

    And even with all of this they are talking about a trilogy? I know Hollywood likes the idea of getting people roped into multiple movies, but the whole trilogy deal is as gimmicky as everything else they do now. Maybe a story/idea only needs one or two movies, maybe it needs four or five. This automatic jump to three movies is just looking too far ahead in some cases, make one good film first.

  10. It sounds like a classic case of too many cooks in the kitchen. Probably a test screening or assembly edit left them scratching their heads. Forget Lindelof. You need Robert McKee for this one.

  11. I started getting nervous about this film when I read they turned it into a race to stop a zombie apocalypse instead of the interview style of the book…it sounds like they have butchered this adaptation ..

  12. They should have just made this into a mini series. This was a unique zombie story and I don’t think a 2 hour movie can give it justice.

  13. Lindelof is like “Hmm..the IMDB boards hate me, BUT i got another job.”
    …that’s what i imagine from the picture you used

  14. Zombies? Aren’t they what killed Spock? lol

    “Hurry up Jim Spock’s dying.” lol

    I’m not scared of zombies.

  15. I just hope they do the novel justice.

  16. Ohhhhhhh!!! – which one is the third act??…I was an extra in Cornwall for the shots on the world headquaters ship, last bastion. Managed top get in lots of shots with Brad so had high hopes of being up there, on the silver screen!!! – family, friends and everyone are waiting for my film to come out, where I’ve got Brad Pitt starring alongside me :) – don’t tell me it’s all being cut now??? :(

  17. This film was so disappointing. Before anyone says it, I did not think it was a prequel. I know he (Scott) changed his mind at this last minute,so I was in the mind frame of seeing another great sci fi flick. It had some good parts but it had some parts that were like….. O_o

    Although it was its own movie I still felt like I was watching a Reboot of Alien.

  18. To me, World War Z may not be the better for it. I’ll probably still see it due to its subject matter, but it’s adding to the weight that’s sinking my desire.

  19. I can already smell this one stinking. Re-shoots, re-writes, and the release date has been pushed back. Think I may go back and watch Ishtar instead.

  20. I have read the book and love every bit of it. If they shoot it according to the format of the book, it gives the story like 10 dimensions in different space, which will be fun to see.

    It will probably span out more than trilogy I would say.

    Brad Pitt is a huge pull however I hope they will do half half – half following the book and half using the successful Hollywood recipe.

    By the way, there is viral about Dr.Yutani in the youtube !!

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