‘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

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  1. One more note in regards to the original ending… too similar to Walking Dead. That type of emotional drama works better with a long TV series.

  2. I’m guessing Greeko also couldn’t understand how the damn pirates were skeletons in Pirates of the Caribbean and complained that it “wasn’t realistic”.

    Greeko…shut up. Find me one movie where every single part of it fits perfectly with everyone’s opinion on what’s “right”. Just because you’re a moron who can’t figure things out, and apparently didn’t pay any attention to the movie doesn’t mean everyone else is.

    I suggest you find someone with more intelligence, perhaps a third grader, to explain the movie to you.

    Now put on your Nickelback CD and go away.

    • If you can same something intelligent, please go back to the trailer park and smoke your bud

  3. I personally enjoyed the entire film.

    I would have liked both endings, probably.

    I hope the sequal happens, and that the trilogy becomes a reality.

    • Just saw it and I’d say it was better than I expected. It was almost as entertaining as this thread even.

      I drew the line at the plane crash. That was the only time I was like, “yeah right.”

      • oops didn’t mean to reply to you nath

      • That AND walking distance to the nearest W.H.O facility that happens to still have doctors in it!

    • Agrred

  4. I just saw the movie yesterday. I thought it was pretty decent. I’ve seen a lot of “OMG, there’s a virus spreading through the World” movies. This was definitely one of the better ones. The idea of zombies has been slightly out played but what hasn’t? Kinda hard to come up with new movies after so many ideas have already been thought up and produced. I did like how they had sealed off the city with the wall, obviously a bad idea because it only takes 1 to make many. I didn’t think the plane crash was all that bad, I mean, the whole cabin did go rolling off the plane, which isn’t exactly what would really have happened and it was coming in too fast to have only been an accident. They should have landed it in the water instead. Maybe they could have got up and jumped out of the plane and into the water before it crashed and then the wave from the crash would have pushed them to shore and left them unconscious. That could really happen. They could have even had the seat with the zombie stuck in it, on the ground near the shore. I’m Air Traffic Control, so I could come up with some pretty good ideas of how to make that scene look much better then it did. As for the ending, I liked it but maybe it would have been better if he hadn’t gotten to his family yet. I guess that just depends. If they were on the fence of whether to create a sequel, then definitely end it with him getting his family back, if they were sure there would be a sequel, then I wouldn’t get him there. I guess that depends on how they are going to create the 2nd movie.
    All in All, I thought it was pretty good. Not sure if it’s ownable or just watchable but I did like it. Maybe I will buy it if the sequel comes out.

  5. I am a huge fan of “end of the world as we know it” flicks. I enjoyed this movie a lot, although it did not follow tho book at all – no surprise there, few movies do. But after reading about the original ending, I have to say that I am intrigued, and would really like to see what was actually shot. And yes, I am interested in seeing in seeing this as a trilogy, especially with more battle scenes.

  6. if they had kept the original ending, i woudn’t have liked the movie. Personally, i think the original ending was crappy, cynical, disturbing, depressing and disgusting.

    • Wow! I think you may be taking life a little too serious. It is a movie, not reality.

  7. Saw this movie, I honestly didn’t think it would be as good as it turned out to be. Boy was I glad I was wrong, this is a great movie and i eagerly await the sequel. Brad Pitt does very good in this movie.

  8. I don’t thunk the original ending would have played well with audiences. However, I would still like to see it, wish it would have been included in the DVD. As far as a sequel, I think it will be difficult to write a compelling sequel. His family made it through ok, and a vaccine has been developed, I don’t know where you go from there.

    • wasn’t really a vaccine but a disease that makes them un-appealing to the zombies. however they still aren’t able to cure the massive portion of the humans already infected and they never found ground zero. maybe they could use the camouflage and go find ground zero with lots of battles and such… could be cool sequel still if done right.

  9. I enjoyed the movie, it definitely felt similar to the video game The Last of Us of which I also enjoyed. Good fun movie to watch, hoping for a sequel that is just as good.

    • Well they both suck.I never played Last of us,only watched the trailer once and i felt discusted.The movie sucked and i am not suprised about your opinion.

      • *Disgusted

        • You’re going off topic. Not sure if you’re retarded ,but I think you are.

          Back on topic this movie i giving me a cold and hard on I would rather give it to african kids to whipe their asses.

          • wipe* retard…

      • not that i have to restate what everyone on here thinks but greeko is as dumb as he sounds in all of his posts… if people like you were to just die the world would be a better place.

        • Look..sorry if I hurted your feelings in any way.I will never argue again.Please dont talk like this.I hope were kool now.

  10. I loved the movie. I went into it very skeptical because I’m a Walking Dead fan and I figured it would just be a 2 hour copy of how to kill a zombie. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised! The ending was perfect. I get so sick of these long drawn out 3rd acts that go on and on forever and by the end of it you don’t even care anymore what happens to any of them. I think the original would have most of us pleading, “Lord, please let the zombies tear them to shreds! Just put us all out of our misery and get this movie over with!!” Can’t wait for the sequel.

  11. I am a HUGE fan of the book and was SO hoping for a killer movie. As time went by i resigned myself to a tyical hollywood screwing by screenwriters. Brad Pitt, I hold you responsible for the prison-rape of a beloved book turned movie. WTF WAS THIS ABORTION. I wouldve rather seen someone do a re edit of Contagion, Fight Club, and Land of the Dead on a fan site.
    Seriously, it seemed like 3 different people made this movie and then fought over editing it. THIS WAS JUST WRONG. And now i own the dvd. Thank the zombie gods i was too broke for the theater run…

    • Just out of curiosity…why do you blame Brad Pitt for the movie being not faithful to the book? You ever think about blaming Max Brooks, who just shrugs his shoulders when asked about it’s diversion from the source material and says, “hey, I sold the rights, they can do whatever they want to at this point.”

  12. Well were to start.I have to admit I didn’t give this movie much chance with Brad Pitt. But I have to say I liked it a lot. Actin packed from beginning to end. And the ending was awesome it had me begging for more. The plane crash is a subject I don’t know much about but I’d like to think one could be lucky enough to survive the grenade and crash. I mean for god sakes he was impaled with shrapnel and almost died. It left you thinking that Garry had some higher power watching over him. I do hope they can get a sequel out of this do to the ending left you with more questions than answers.

  13. Just saw the movie and thought it was really good…better than expected. I hope there is a sequel. I did read the book and I may have liked the more sociological original ending. However, the final version is still very entertaining. As for this who think down endings can’t work, I’ll just say “Return of the Jedi.”

    • Correction. Meant “Empire Strikes Back.” I know I’m going to catch hell for that!

  14. Definately enjoyed the ending as it is. The only thing that seem unrealistic was the plane crash. I would think it would be interesting to see a prequel of how the virus started in the first place and then a sequel of the final battle.

    • Really like the idea of a prequel then a sequel, could still make it a trilogy and at the same time add new actors, use old actors and explain both the beginning and the end.. would make an awesome must own trilogy.

  15. If they made a sequel, I would be one of the first in my area to view it. I don’t care what bad reviews any critic may have, all I know brad Pitt is a versitle, interested actor that makes any role he play exciting. It would be a fun and pleasurable experience for me so please, MAKE THE SEQUEL!!!!!!

  16. Thank god it never happened, that ended would have sucked and it makes no sense. Thank god they changed it and its alot better.

  17. just call this movie ” Z ” and im cool with it, but “world war Z” it was not. Any of you actually read the book? I dont ever remember reading about germ warfare as camo…. stupid.The movie was decent until i realized about an hour into that was the direction it was going. I give the movie a 7, it was entertaining but being such a huge fan of the book I am just turned off by how far left then it went from the source material.

    • I personally thought they were going with something like those who don’t have fear aren’t attacked.. didn’t think it was a bad sickness that camo’s you until they brought it up… i’m just glad it wasn’t another “after earth” no fear they can’t see you kinda thing.

  18. This movie would have been far better off without any so called A-list actors such as the incredibly mediocre Brad Pitt and if Danny Boyle had directed it. Such a great plot and genre only to be reduced to bland, pasty, predictable, happy ending hogwash. YES, I’d love to see a sequel. The closing monolog pretty much promises one. Take a couple lessons from the 28 Days Later style and show us WWZ-After The Beginning…or something like that. But lose the PG-13 thing and put in enough grit to make it R.

  19. Well I liked the final version.
    WTF was this original ending? I hate when they mix up these petty issues with zombies. It’s a movie about zombies so thanks for sticking it up to that. It would have driven me nuts if it would have been about a husband going back to his wife. It would have been so lame. Bweeech.

    • *…husband going back to his wife in rage and revenge for her sleeping with some other man.

  20. I thought the movie could have a few more clashes with soldiers and some heavy military stuff like C130 gunship aircraft with big guns tanks an apcs and A10 aircraft choppers drones etc. And yes ending could have been better. Better writers directors . They need to listen to the fans

  21. I liked the movie. I just couldn’t get past that only Gerry can see the Zombies arn’t going after sick people. Like sick people have no voice? Hospitals are full of sick people. no ones going to notice they are being bypassed. They didn’t bite the soldier in Korea because he had a bum leg? And it seemed like all the Zombies wanted to do was bite? They would bite someone then move on. They didnt seem to be that mindless either. All those Zombies were making alot of noise. Why were they able to distinguish very slight human noise from very LOUD zombie noise….I know its just a movie but I wanted to make that point. Im not complaining and look forward to the sequel and im reading the book.

    • In the book there were people who’s job it was to investigative the disease. I can’t exacty remember the circumstances that led to this, however some people did think they were imune for some reson but were just sick and the virus didn’t want them. There was also a story about how some people thoucht they were infected but weren’t some they tried to rehabilitate to no avail. They had to eliminate them just like zeke.

    • So,I just got thru reading the book. Wow…nothing like the movie. They can actually do another movie by incorporating passages from the book and have an entirely different movie. Its like they only used the name and Israel for the movie. The book scared the jiminey out of me too. Thank god there was some comic relief with the young man and the monkey from India. I guess they can make up anything they want for the sequel. It would be nice if they used a few ideas from the book…

  22. I actually read the book and loved it. Max Brooks is way better than Romero. In the book Israel didn’t fall. They also didn’t show you how the government failed in New York, or how the pulled back to the Rockies and left the rest to fend for themselves. The book was a collection or people’s accounts of what they experienced during the war. One chapter that realy got me was the story of a man on a sub-marine, he could hear them on the hull of the ship… it was creepy. A nother was how the birning of the bodies destroyed the environment and pushed earth into a mini ice age. And the there was the stories of the men on the ground and the use of dogs. The bite resistant armour and the battle fatigue by the men and women doing the fighting. World War Z is the story of how man overcomes the zombie apocalypse. Possibly a metaphor for the endurance of mankind. However I did love the movie and look forward to sequals. Hopefully they will touch more on the rest of the chapters that painted the picture of WWZ.

  23. Great movie. I always thought Ben’s review was off to say the least. The movie was solid all the way through. I don’t know if it needs a sequel.

  24. Yes please that movie was freaking awesome

  25. I liked the movie, it wasn’t your typical Zombie movie. The end that wasn’t used sounds more exciting. But I would go see a sequel !

  26. This movie was amazing , I was thourghly amazed and was not expecting half of what I saw. I loved the fact that I was so into it I was screaming at the television ♡ Can’t wait to watch it again with my fiance

  27. I enjoyed the final version but I think I would have enjoyed the original ending as well,after all lets face it, not everything has a happy ending, having said this I really so hope that there is a sequal

    • I got more tense when watching I Am Legend, compared to WWZ, but it was fun to watch. Nothing spectacular. I think they can do much better…make it much more tense and gripping, more often. More intense battle scenes showing the dedication of the various world military entity’s with doing whatever it takes to stop the zombies.

  28. I loved the movie I would not have liked any of the alternate story line or ending. If it had ended open like that I would have been ticked.

  29. I really liked the movie. Though it seemed like we were ( at some points) be rushed through to get the story line in. It gave me just the fix I needed until walking dead comes back on! Make the next one but make it right!