‘World War Z’ Original Ending Revealed; Sequel to Begin Development

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World War Z Pitt Scarf World War Z Original Ending Revealed; Sequel to Begin Development

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[WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR WORLD WAR Z SPOILERS!!!]

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For the past year, Paramount’s World War Z seemed like a real-life disaster in the making, between un-encouraging departures from the source novel and the six month release day delay to allow for a complete overhaul of the third act (courtesy of co-writers Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard). As a result, the final movie is a passable thriller but – to quote Screen Rant’s Ben Kendrick in his World War Z review“a disjointed narrative experience that presents absorbing information up front and then slides into thoughtless blockbuster fare.”

Nonetheless, the global apocalypse blockbuster has managed to open worldwide with a $112 million gross (that includes $66 million in the U.S.), thanks in part to star Brad Pitt’s unrelenting commitment to selling audiences on the PG-13 zombie-thriller. Hence, Paramount will begin development on a sequel to its $190 million investment, as studio vice chairman Rob Moore confirmed to THR.

World War Z was originally envisioned as the beginning of a movie trilogy, and the finished version still leaves the door open for additional installments (ending with Pitt’s warning, via voice-over, that the titular war “has just begun”). The film’s original third act involved a massive zombie battle in Moscow during the winter, which lies in stark contrast to the to the final cut’s low-key climax – set in a World Health Organization building that has been partly overtaken by zombies.

Interestingly, the original third act began on a calmer note, and did not include the plane crash sequence – a major selling point in the World War Z marketing – that leaves protagonist Gerry Lane (Pitt) and his newly-acquired “sidekick” Segen (Daniella Kertesz) badly-injured and stranded a ways from civilization.

Brad Pitt Daniella Kertesz World War Z World War Z Original Ending Revealed; Sequel to Begin Development

Brad Pitt and Daniella Kertesz in ‘World War Z’

Things took a darker and far less hopeful turn for our heroes, though, according to Movies.com in the site’s breakdown of the film’s original conclusion:

The plane Gerry and Segen board is bound for Moscow. Upon safely landing, everyone on board is rounded up by the military. The elderly and the sick are executed and the healthy people, including a very shaken Gerry, are immediately drafted into armed service, though not before one particularly nasty Russian soldier takes Gerry’s cell phone. The story then jumps forward an unknown amount of time and we catch up with Gerry, who now has a full beard and has been a part of Russia’s zombie-clearing squad at least long enough for it to have changed to winter.

From there, Gerry eventually realizes that the zombies cannot handle Moscow’s cold weather – after he notices how much slower they move in comparison to the swarming hordes he encountered in Jerusalem – and this proves to be the key to gaining the upper hand in the battle. Soon thereafter, Gerry recovers his cell phone and attempts to reach his wife, Karin (Mireille Enos).

Gerry reaches Karin. He explains to her that the cold is the way they’ll win battles, which does her no good because it just so happens she and the kids are in a refugee camp in the sweltering heat of the Everglades. They’re in the type of camp where you have to have something to trade to survive, and it just so happens the one thing Karin had to trade was herself. She doesn’t explicitly tell Gerry this, but after she hastily hangs up the phone we see that she’s in some kind of reluctantly consensual relationship with the soldier who rescued them from the rooftop at the beginning of the movie.

Those who were paying close-attention during that rooftop rescue sequence (in the final cut), may recall that the nameless “Parajumper” in question was played by Lost alum Matthew Fox. So, if you saw the movie – and were left scratching your head about why the recognizable actor had been cast for what amounts to a single shot cameo – well, now you have your answer.

world war z trailer brad pitt1 World War Z Original Ending Revealed; Sequel to Begin Development

Gerry Lane (Pitt) and his family in ‘World War Z’

Lastly, World War Z was (at one point) supposed to wrap things up with Gerry, Segen and Simon – an English-speaking companion the two acquired in Moscow – trekking across Russia and making their way towards the U.S. shoreline, in a last-ditch effort to rescue Gerry’s wife and daughters:

Fox’ parajumper soldier then calls Gerry back and explains to him that he should just stay wherever he is and start a new life like he and Karin have. Gerry refuses to accept this, though, and he embarks on a rage mission to get back to his wife and daughters. Trouble is the nearest port that won’t be frozen is thousands of miles away, so there’s a montage of Gerry, Simon and Segen crossing various terrain until they ultimately end up on a boat. They’re now off of the Oregon Coast and they attack the American shore like it’s D-Day. And that’s how the movie ends. Not with Gerry having discovered a cure, but with him storming across the United States of America to get Karin back.

It’s possible that only certain portions of this extremely open-ended – and, tonally, far more bleak – original third act were actually shot by World War Z director Marc Forster. Regardless, whatever material did make the jump from script to movie form was messy enough to convince the people working on the project to recruit a couple of high-profile screenwriters to help salvage the whole thing.

There’s an argument to be made that the originally-planned direction would have allowed the film to paint a harsher and, in some ways, perhaps a more brutally-realistic portrayal of how social order breaks down during the zombie apocalypse – by showing the terrible effect it has on regular people like Gerry and his family. Still, it’s difficult to imagine that Paramount executives would’ve actually signed off on this ending (for a $200 million summer popcorn flick no less).

Which World War Z ending do you prefer – the original or the final version? Are you interested in seeing a sequel? Let us know in the comments section.

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World War Z is now playing in theaters.

Source: Movies.com, THR

TAGS: world war z

203 Comments

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  1. alright, seriously guys… stop talking about me, you are going off topic ffs. This movie is not good and not bad..Apologiez for my critism, you will never see me arguing again. Now leave me alone.

    • Yeah

  2. I, Personaly think there should be a sequal. I would love to see how Gerry would cure the world of the infected. I, personaly think it would be a amasing sequal and highly reccomend it to the directors.

  3. I would love to see a sequel the first was a blast ,
    I don’t particularly agree with the the sequel ending but ik not sure why they would even end the movie like that
    I do hope they change the ending ofthensequal to this bra Pitt saving the world , or somebody at least saving the world and finding a cute ! I’d love to c the family reunite or some reunite would be great hit , the left unsaid is always a better ending

  4. I would love to see a sequel! This has become one of my favorite movies of all time. The final cut was amazing I don’t know who in the world would want to see karin whore heraelf out while gerry is trying to save the world lol…that would have reuined the movie. The rewrite was a genius idea whosever it was. I never knew that there was a different third act until now and after reading a summary of it I am so glad they changed it! In closing I am very much looking forward to more world war z movie (s) so keep at it Mr. Pitt.

  5. I prefer something in between. The ending was too boring, but there were great added scenes such as the opening scene. And I didn’t like his helpless family, so I rather have him trying to help the world rather than chase Karin.

    I’d love this to become a trilogy though!

  6. The original ending is far superior in that it explores a much more complex narrative and character development. Yes, the protagonist does not cure the world and it leaves more loose ends than it solves, but it wiuld have been a better film. Would it have made, or even as much money? Probably not. It sticks to the formula rather than breaking free to create something truly special.

    • Considering that the formula of a Zombie movie is to never find a cure and have everyone dead… I think this is original in a sort of way. Also they didnt find a cure, the find some sort of vaccine, but they cant cure the infected ones and virus evolves with time, so there is something else to explore there.

  7. I thought it was an OK movie. Not the best Zombie movie ever, certainly not the worst. It was my 10 year oldsons first “scary” movie and he thought it was great. I agree the ending left something to be desired. That said, I also think that the part of the original ending where he lands in Oregon on a cross country trek to get his family is not really great either. It seems to me that if that were the ending, then the zombies would then become background in a love triangle story. The screenwriter who were called in probably just had to do the best they could with what they were given. That said, I would still like to see a sequel.

  8. The WHO facility was set somewhere near Cardiff, Wales. Gerry and Segen only happened to end up in the Welsh valleys because the plane was about to land at Cardiff Airport before it crashed.

    But Wales is on the other side of Europe from Israel, which would have meant 4 or 5 hours flight. You mean to tell me during that time no one noticed a zombie on the plane until its about to land?

    • Exactly ya

  9. The zombie was in the hold if you payed attention,, the air hostess pressed the lift which allowed the zombie access to the main cargo

  10. Sounds like poopie

  11. I would love to see a sequel. The ending was certainly a setup for one. What I would be really interested in seeing is the war of moscow. I thought the movie was amazing!! But don’t make his family helpless in the next one. Have the next movie take place about 5 years after the first one. Gerry is off fighting in moscow. His family decides that they are fed up with sitting in one place without their whole family. So they decide to head to moscow. Make the movie about Gerry’s family’s trip there. Make the boy that they adopted in the first movie a very prominent character.

    • That could possibly make a really good sequel. a lot of character development too. i like that idea

  12. A much better ending. An with a few more modifications they could have incorporated more ideas from the book. For example the Russian priest storyline. Who last act could have been to give Gerry his phone back and enough supplies and weapons to get to America.

  13. There should be a sequel to this great movie, one of the greatest zombie movie ever! I’ve probably watched it 10 times already and still haas that touch! All my friends would love to see how it continues from the end of part 1. Maybe not all the zombies are immune to the virus. It should be action packed and lots of zombie encounters. Millions of fans are waiting form the next sequel.

  14. As I have read the book, and a zombie fanatic, the ending in theaters was better then what I just read. It leaves the movie to actually follow the book for the sequel. Brad Pitt’s character can travel around the world and get the stories from people at how they survived. The action and gore would come as flashbacks while the person is talking, and film can show how each person survived during the initial outbreak, during the peak of the outbreak, and upon finding the “camouflage.” I think that would be the best way to make the sequel while staying some what true to the book.

    • Tony I agree with you!!!! I would paid to see that seqeul! I would take my children……That’s the kind of movie they promoted!!! I now own it on DVD….Let’s hope there take your advise for the sequel…. Cross your fingers.

  15. I love the movie so did my gf hope to see a sequel this year

  16. I like the final endin i would love to see a prequal or a second one

  17. the movie was really interesting and it created the platform for a sequel, and i hope to see one in near future. still the core of the movie should not be fighting zombies or the centered about his family. it should be about the reason for the virus, like aliens infected us or something……………

  18. If they make a sequel… forget the third part of the movie was ever filmed and restart from the departure from the plane crash. The movie’s ending is just not at the level of the rest of the movie. You get out of the theater thinking, yes, it was a good zombie movie… but you’re not overwhelmed because the last part is just, well, underwhelming to put it gently. I don’t think anyone will mention the last part as being a good part in the movie.
    It would be pretty easy to do too.. everything that happens after the plane crash was just a dream (a “revelation” kind of dream that can be used later in the sequel as pitt tries to camouflage his party during the exodus, as well as to find ways to make this “revelation” be known to those who will listen )… and Brad Pitt awakes for real in the Russian sh*thole extermination army, and on you go from there… battle of moscou, exodus, and Pitt’s quest to rescue his family and get his revelation info to the right people, and if you really want a nice little happy ending, end it with a family reunion… which should a tragic kind of reunion, with guilt remorse and forgiveness (the whole shebang) but full of hope… and set the tone for a trilogy. You have a lot of material to work the characters, whatever underlying message you want, in a dark and yet hopeful context.
    The original film’s ending was a real letdown, just make it go away, cheesy and not one bit convincing, they were wrong to be afraid to be too dark. There is no real shinny light if there’s no real darkness to contrast with it. The book deserved better than that.

  19. Just saw the movie for the first time last night. I’m glad I didn’t pay to do so.

    It was so thinly created in story. The leaps to create action were ridiculous. And having read about the other possible storyline…well, actually, I would prefer neither. I would prefer a good story. Something with some interest. Something that held together better than a wet kleenex.

    As far as movies go, even if it was a straight-up zombie action flick, it would have been fine, but it wasn’t even that. It was Brad Pitt, being Brad Pitt, in a Brad Pitt movie about Brad Pitt saving Brad Pitt’s family from zombies through Brad Pitt’s incredible Brad Pittiness. I really hope there isn’t a sequel.

    • Maybe they should do the sequel without Brad Pitt…just a thought.

  20. I’m a long standing fan of the Zombie genre and have to say that I really like World War Z, despite coming to it with a negative impression gained from internet based media.

    I found WWZ immediately immersive from the Philadelphia sequence onwards and very different to the more usual gore orientated Zombie movies. Once Gerry (Pitt) was in the air it was an action packed Zombie adrenaline rush.

    The Cardiff sequence was logical and to my mind far better than the originally shot 3rd act. If anything the movie was let down by the very unconvincing end sequence where Gerry meets up again with his family in Nova Scotia. Nevertheless, overall WWZ appears to fit well with Dan O’Bannon’s famous screenplay structure.

    Sure if you sit down and deconstruct the movie there are massive plot holes but few movies these days are any better. For instance 28 Days Later falls to pieces once they meet the very unconvincing soldiery and you can drive a Chieftain tank through the script holes presented in 28 Weeks Later.

    Why does a sequel need Gerry (Pitt) at all. Let’s see events in Moscow through other eyes. Karl Urban was a cool Russian in the Bourne franchise and could be a good contender. What I don’t want to see is a 3 part ‘Brad Apocalypse’ based round Gerry. That story is now over as far as Im concerned. With each film having a different perspective they can stand alone don’t have to be reliant upon the ending of the previous movie. This would in fact be closer to Brook’s book.

    • Well stated! Another big name actor would be a good star of the sequel. I would suggest taking this one step further. In order to adapt a bit of the episodic nature of the book to the sequel it would be really cool if the story follows one character for 45 minutes, say a Karl Urban, and then he dies or gets stuck in a fortified castle in Europe with twenty other survivors and the narrative moves to another protagonist, like a Julianne Moore (in my mind because of her appearance in Children of Men). Of course this will never happen because Brad Pitt sells tickets but I’ll still see whatever sequel he puts together.

  21. Actually, I am a fan of the novel more than I am the movie. Enjoyed the movie, but only about 2% from from the book.

    Better still to bring the original author onboard and do this – FROM THE FREAKIN’BOOK – and do as a Cable mini-series. Give Walking Dead a run for it’s money.

  22. Personally, I enjoyed the movie. I consider it to be a prequel to the actual book. I agree with Tony, they should definitely incorporate the novel as much as possible into the sequel!

  23. I think the current ending doesn’t allow any leeway for a sequel. If everyone is inoculated to be invisible to the zombies, then the threat is over. They can just be slowly destroyed at leisure. What would be very interesting would be seeing what kind of a world gets created when 95% of the population is wiped-out. What would a world with only 300 million people (a plurality of them toothless North Koreans with nuclear weapons) looks like?

  24. I still like the idea of Brad Pitt’s character trying to find patient zero in the sequel. Instead of just annihilating all of the zombies, why not try to find a cure to save them. I think that creates a more intelligent film than just turning it into some sort of WWIII humans vs. zombies flick

  25. I enjoyed the movie and like the ending. It allows for a second movie also but I don’t think I would anticipate a sequel. I am sure I would wait fo the dvd if a sequel were to emerge.

    I don’t care for the original ending…I prefer the way it ended in the final cut.

  26. I loved the movie. But I would have liked to have seen more action, more scenes with zombies. Now that I read the original ending, I’m wondering that one would have been better. Sounds like it would have had more zombie acts and killing. That’s why I love about zombie movies. Another World War Z movie? Of course!!! Can’t wait for it.

  27. World War Z 2 (Super Soliders).
    Government is trying to find a way to control the remaining zombies and make them into super soliders. But it was a experiment that went wrong. It created a new type of zombies that are stronger, faster and more dangerous. Vaccine that they made in the past doesnt work and u cant be camafluaged against them. Do you see where im going with this? Just a idea lol

    • Greg… that plot line is pretty well worn out. ( Evil military wants to use it to make super soldiers) The world has had a catastrophic loss of population already and instead of creating zombie soldiers to go kill more people, Any government would see the need to save as many people as it could. Look at the situation in Europe int he middle ages and the results of the drop in worker population from the Black Death.

  28. The final cut was great. I would love a sequel because I wouldn’t have changed anything. I understand where people might feel like they wanted more action sequences and more zombies because I do as well, but I wouldn’t change the third act because I want more action and more zombies, I would create a sequel. I think it sucks people need to feel overwhelmed throughout the entire movie and can’t just let someone tell a story. People need their uniform, transformer’s style action plots with adrenaline coursing at all the same parts so they can feel like the movie had the climax they’re looking for. The third act wasn’t overwhelming because that’s not how the story goes for the third act. And I know that this story had barely anything to do with Max Brook’s book but this is not the same story. Enjoy this for what it is and stop complaining because I’d love to see you make a movie this good. Try accepting a story for what it is and if you don’t like the story you don’t have to. Another thing I don’t understand is why it appears so difficult for people to type legibly. I have a hard time understanding people when they can’t complete words or spell correctly..

  29. The first movie blew me away !!! The way it made it look like a real life phenomenon and how the “camoflauge” was another illness.

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