‘World War Z’ To Undergo Extensive Re-Shoots

Published 2 years ago by

world war z brad pitt reshoots World War Z To Undergo Extensive Re Shoots

Paramount’s decision to push the release date for G.I. Joe: Retaliation back by nine months was considered an extremely bold move – one which also reeked of desperation, given the timing – so in that sense, the studio’s six-month delay of World War Z seemed more reasonable. After all, the latter announcement was made nine months in advance of the zombpocalyptic thriller’s original Winter 2012 release date – and really, WWZ just reads as being a better fit for summer.

However, just as it recently came to light that G.I. Joe 2 may have really been delayed so as to allow for extensive re-shoots (in the hopes of salvaging the film) – it’s also starting to look like World War Z could be in a bad spot.

The Daily Mail says that Brad Pitt and certain other members of the World War Z cast are participating in seven weeks’ worth of additional photography for the film, beginning on-location in Budapest. Although there’s been no suggestion yet that director Marc Forster won’t be supervising said re-shoots, his involvement is (technically) unconfirmed for the time being. That also goes for co-stars Matthew Fox and James Badge Dale – the latter of which may be unavailable in the immediate future, since he’s also appearing in Iron Man 3 (which just barely began production).

As The Playlist discussed in its report on the WWZ situation: re-shoots are a common practice when it comes to expensive tentpole productions. The difference is that additional photography for other recent blockbusters (be it Captain America, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, or The Avengers) only went on for 1-2 weeks tops, in order to address and correct any simple issues that came up during post-production – in large part miscellaneous technical issues that required an extra shot or two. It’s the sheer scope of the additional filming for WWZ that suggests the movie has some major problems in its current state.

Longtime Screen Rant readers might recall that the project was stuck in arrested development for a few years, before (around March 2011) it reportedly came dangerously close to collapsing – only to suddenly recover and start production some three months later. Such a fast turnaround does raise the question: was the WWZ screenplay likewise suddenly ready to go – or did principal photography get underway with a shooting script that still required some significant fine-tuning?

World War Z movie with Brad Pitt1 World War Z To Undergo Extensive Re Shoots

Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski’s original World War Z script draft is said to be pretty faithful to Max Brooks’ source material – with an approach that includes the novel’s interview-based narrative structure. Straczynski’s draft was reworked by Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom), who was apparently tasked with turning the WWZ movie into a PG-13 global thriller/horror flick that has franchise potential. The official changes to the story of Brooks’ original novel have already prompted much debate among fans (who, for the most part, disapprove).

That’s all to say: given that nearly two months of re-shoots have been scheduled, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the rough cut of World War Z turned out poorly – be it due to a script that needed additional work, or any other issues (admittedly, Forster isn’t renowned for directing globe-trotting thrillers – see Quantum of Solace). Whether or not additional filming can prevent the project from becoming a real-life disaster, remains to be seen. (Here’s hoping, as always, for the best.)

World War Z remains scheduled to begin a theatrical release in the U.S. on June 21st, 2013.

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Source: The Daily Mail [via The Playlist]

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  1. What in the world is going on over there at Paramount? Another movie that i was looking forward to seeing and now it’s being re shot. If they stray away too much from the original source, I think it will be a flop. Brad Pitt can only get so many people into movie theaters but you really gotta to appeal at least to the core audience on this certain movie.

    • Its not like the movie was actually coming out this year anyway….Just Breathe!!!

  2. This is being released in the same summer as Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, and I think Wolverine (any other big blockbusters I’m missing?) I hope it doesn’t suffer the “Battleship-being-released-2-weeks-after-the-Avengers” syndrome.

  3. Anyone actually read the book World War Z ? It isn’t an actual storyline, its just interviews with people who have survived a zombie apocalypse. Half way through it gets very boring and repetitive.

    • As I see it: In the WWZ book, the “story” is that of the actual zombpocalypse, as recounted through interviews with survivors (which take on a semi-chronological order).

      The film, by comparison, is supposedly about Pitt’s character racing-against-time to stave off the zombpocalypse.

      • From what I’ve read, you’re correct. Unfortunately. I would have rather had the 3 or 4 best stories and had them expanded and threaded together to re-create the anthology of stories the book creates.

        • yeah when first heard about the movie i racked my head trying to figure how theyed pull it off, but if they are pulling the past tense element out of the movie I dont see how they can create good compelling stories with the ‘narrator’ character present for each one.

          • have to agree with you.

            i really enjoyed the book, and am very hesitant about a movie which apparently changes the plot so much….

            I really wish they would have just called the movie something else, rather than call it an “adaptation” of the book while completely butchering the source material.

        • The thing is though, some things read well but may not come across well in live action. This is something they might have discovered and the reason why they are changing the original plot.

          Not saying I disagree with you, only that there is always another point of view to consider.

  4. SEVEN weeks? There some movies that take less time to shoot all of! To take seven weeks has to mean they’re re-shooting almost half the movie, at least. Man, I hope it’s worth it. The book is amazing.

    • I was about to say pretty much the same thing.
      7 Weeks is a long time and really, really expensive. And you also have to think that because it’s so expensive that they will be moving pretty fast during the re-shoots. So bye the end it could be over half the film.

  5. I actually thought this would be very easy to do in both the interview format and and past tense.

    The two easiest methods would be to have the interviewer sit down with the survivor post war and then go into a flash back. The character could do one of two things;

    A: You could act it out in the present tense and have the future self version of the character be the narrator. For example the drug cave with the burried zombie. You could have the confused soldier approaching it and the voice over future self is narrating. The past self never reacts to it.

    B: IS a lot harder but still work in a lot of shows. The scene is shot and all the parts move through. The character walks with the interview guy who is obviously out of place. The character does the action and all but he acts through the action. He only breaks past tense or the action to interact with the interviewer and no one else ever acknowledges the interviewer or interacts with him. I’d do this just for the scene of a zombie talking the speaker after diving through the interviewer like he was a ghost or hologram.

    Cut each scene with some obvious future tense comment or question. Cut back to the interview in the future.

    I’d cut the scene around the idea the incidents being revealed are criminological. 4 or 5 major characters (who I’d merge several of the book ones togehter.) Intermix with some of the lesser ones telling stories that touch the main characters but maybe not feature them.

    figure three movies? 2hrs apiece?
    1> Foreshadowing to great panic, end at yonkers

    2> Start with great panic hitting the highest gear, what people start doing for survival end with units securing the safe zones.

    3> Start with the battle of hope. Recap all the nasty stuff they find retaking the county and expand it a bit.

    That’s just the american story line, you have the russian one, the mini stories that expand on the war, and so much more.

  6. The proper way to have realized the books full potential would have been to go the way of interview with a vampire, and make pitt the interviewer and cast some serious talent in the way of the kid in the apt or whomever he’s speaking with. I dont really understand the draw the movie will make to those who have read the source material, as we’ll know the outcome of this “race against time”.

    Having said that…what the scoop on Pain & Gain? Now THAT is something worth making into a movie!

  7. I always envisioned as I was reading a mini-series like Band of Brothers that starts with interviews and then cuts into past. I don’t see how they are going to capture the global perspective of the book with the narrator being the main character and racing against time to stop the pandemic. Like someone said above how do you put Brad Pitt in all those locations? It’s going to be drastically different from the book. It could still be good but just call it something other than World War Z and let someone else do the book justice.

  8. The book was interesting at first but then the stories became confusing, boring and terriably alike. I do think people who liked the book will have issues with the movie, but I for one am glad it will be different. Zombie movies should have a lot of action and zombies, not people standing around talking about how they feel or have felt, we get enough of that with the walking dead.

  9. Haven’t read the book, so can’t comment on that, but I saw the film last night (prescreening) as a work in progress (some minor effects needed to be finished) and I found the film to be very blah. The script was poorly done in my opinion, Brad Pitt’s family annoyed me, and the movie just didn’t fill me with anxiety or dread as the zombie horde takes over. There was no zombie’s tearing people apart, it was just biting and making more zombies. Anyway, it seemed kind of tame to me after having watched the Walking Dead.

    • Thank you for framing exactly what I expected. This isn’t world war Z. It’s brad pitts lame zombie movie he’s selling by buying the name world war Z.