‘World War Z’ Trailer Preview: Brad Pitt Races to Stop the Zombpocalypse

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 11th, 2014 at 9:29 am,

UPDATE: Go here for the official World War Z trailer!

Paramount’s World War Z adaptation teetered on the verge of collapsing two years ago due to a lack of proper funding, but the project managed to recover and begin production just a few months later. That was before controversy erupted over its departures from Max Brooks’ source material, premature plans for a WWZ trilogy, release date delays, an unusually extensive amount of reshoots, and reports of multiple screenwriters being recruited to revise the film’s final act.

Needless to say, there’s an air of skepticism amongst those who’ve been following progress on World War Z (as far as the final film goes). The trailer premieres this Thursday but, for the time being, we can offer a trailer preview – yes, it’s time for another one of those – that offers a first look at Pitt’s race around the globe to prevent the zombpocalypse in the movie.

Anyone who’s either read or is familiar with the structure of Brooks’ World War Z novel (which is composed of oral interviews with survivors of the zombpocalypse) has long-known that a film adaptation is a tricky proposition. The source material lends itself to a pseudo-documentary format, where interviews conducted in the present serve to provide the narrative framework and are intercut with flashbacks to the global zombie pandemic – similar to the structure of District 9, to use a movie example.

However, the WWZ book is also far more massive in scope than Neil Blomkmap’s allegorical sci-fi film, and technically doesn’t even have a protagonist (outside of the U.N. worker conducting the interviews). We’ve heard that an early script draft penned by J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Changeling) was overall faithful to the original novel design, but thereafter it was heavily-revised by Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom, Lion for Lambs) – resulting in a version that better fits Paramount’s criteria for a ‘proper’ blockbuster with a nine-digit budget.

world war z trailer brad pitt World War Z Trailer Preview: Brad Pitt Races to Stop the Zombpocalypse

Brad Pitt in ‘World War Z’

The result of those efforts (as suggested by trailer footage) is a more conventional Hollywood thriller where Pitt plays an ordinary man attempting to save the world; with additional motivation coming from his desire to reunite with his family and wife (The Killing‘s Mireille Enos). Moreover, it appears the traditional lumbering undead featured in Brooks’ novel have been replaced with fast-moving zombies, in the vein of those from Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake.

Bear in mind, although Paramount and director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Machine Gun Preacher) are not taking as ambitious an approach as we and many others might’ve preferred, that doesn’t mean the film is without merit on its own terms. The central metaphor of Brooks’ story remains mostly intact (though, it appears to be secondary to Pitt’s heroics now) and the blending of a gritty global disaster film with socio-political overtones and zombie tropes sets WWZ apart from the plethora of other takes on the zombpocalypse sub-genre (Resident Evil, The Walking Dead, etc.). Lastly, Forster and his director of photography Robert Richardson (Kill Bill, The Aviator, Hugo) seem to have conjured up some unique zombie imagery, such as the stacks of rotting undead attempting to clammer up a massive city-guarding barrier.

UPDATE: Paramount has released an official teaser poster for World War Z:


world war z poster 570x848 World War Z Trailer Preview: Brad Pitt Races to Stop the Zombpocalypse 

On the other hand, it won’t come as a surprise should World War Z end up drawing the sort of tepid responses that Forster’s previous forays into action genre territory have generated (given what we know about the tumultuous production). There is strong talent working on both sides of the camera, which should help to elevate the proceedings – but will that be enough to ensure WWZ avoids becoming another costly venture where a problematic filming process prevents the promising source material from achieving its full cinematic potential?

We will find out when World War Z invades theaters on June 21st, 2013.

Source: ET, Paramount Pictures

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  1. The zombies look like a semi homogenous goo.
    It would’ve been better if they had left it in a semi documentary style. I much preferred the focus on each survivor and using the character of Gerry to tie it all together. They’re just using the premise of the book to make some sort of James Bond hollywood blockbuster clone focusing on one character which isn’t like the book at all.
    I thought the war occurred over a longer amount of time? How is this Gerry character able to race against the clock to save mankind?
    World War Z would have made a great series like the Walking Dead instead of pissing around with reshooting, rewrites and on set tension. I wish they had kept Straczynski’s script, at least his was like the book.
    Absolutely admire the book, but I don’t think the movie will live up to my expectations.

    • I agree. Could have been really good. Looks like another victim of the Hollywood sausage factory.
      Good ideas go in…
      Ugly mess comes out…

      I’ll probably still eat it, just not at full price.

  2. This should have been like ‘Courage Under Fire’ with Zombies, instead its going to be like countless other zombie flicks…

  3. I wonder?

    Are they attempting to make a franchise out of World War Z?

    Is this th 1st Act? As World War Z is written in the narrative of the past events?

    But, why would the UN Aide, assigned the task of interviewing key people in the War, be needed in the 3rd Act?

    • man u r stupid

  4. Even though it is 4am

    Hello Los Angeles..You sexy beast.

    Nothing like a 6 hout flight in the belly of C5 Galaxy across the country….Oddly, my Wife slept through the entire flight.

  5. Hey Jeff…

    Um…the Book totally SUCKED BTW. I wouldn’t watch a movie about a guy interviewing other people. I can turn on the news for that.

    You asked what about the re-shoots and the re-writes. You must be new to the movie industry. Not uncommon and some of the best movies of all time were a b**** to make. Apocalypse Now is a perfect example.

    LOL! I’m sure you know everything though. I just wish Hollywood would ignore the rest of the world and only listen to you!

    • Impressive, now, off you go.

    • Please, just die. You have no sentient thought. You have no personality. You have no friends besides “Bros”. The only reason Hollywood “Cares” about you is because you’re thousands of sheep that will willingly throw away money at pretty effects with no substance. To quote george orwell “All the good little piggies will go to the slaughterhouse if it’s made of gold”

  6. Cpt Insano. Well done. Now do run along and play.

  7. What was up with the zombies? Superfast and forming like a wave?!

    I’m fine with them editing the format (it would ineed be hard for a full book adaptation), but the zombies just look awful.

  8. What a shame…. I can imagine how this happened… Studio know-it-all-guy: Awesome title, I have the original I Am Legend script right here and I think it would work great for this title and we can make all the action take place during the day time. I’m a genius, let’s shoot it. Get BP over here and throw him $30 million – then give him another $100k to give to some gay people and this movie will be a solid win for everyone.

    Max Brooks should come out and call BS on this but hopefully he was smart and reserved some rights to maybe sell his ideas to other studios.

  9. Awesome things here. I’m very happy to see your article. Thanks so much and I’m having a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  10. I hope we do not have another super human strength zombie/vampire movie like “I am Legend”, we’ll see if they have the battery powered M4s and Glocks too, where they repeatedly click when empty and the trigger is pulled, instead of the slide/bolt simply locking open, which happens in real life, but is not as exciting.

  11. I don’t know about you guys, but this new zombies as ant swarm thingy going on is genuinely terrifying, and looks great to boot! I’m loving it. Come on guys, that HORDE of zombies pushing a bus over like the bugs in Starship Troopers? Slamming into walls and then redirecting like a brainless mass that they are supposed to be? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY f****** MONEY BRAD PITT! I actually think that if zombies existed and could run, it would actually look like that: a brainless mass of beings looking for food. Zombies in past movies don’t really look real cause in the end they’re still actors dressed as zombies. Actors that can get hurt if they tried doing something like that. These look more animalistic and bestial to me, even better than the 28 days later variety IMO.

    • Francisco, 28 Days Later, they were not zombies per se, they were LIVING infected people, whereas zombies are dead, somfor them to run is acceptable (infected by a virus that makes you a crazed killer), but zombies are technically dead, no respiration or circulation to feed muscle tissue. Ever take a piece of meat and move it around too much ? It falls apart, unless Brad Pitt is taking a similar approach with the Solanum virus.

      • I know, but they still “ate” people.

        • No, they didn’t. That’s why at the end of the movie you see so many infected dying: they never actually eat/absorb/are nourished by eating anything, they just savagely kill. Hence, the virus in the 28 Days Later franchise being called “the rage virus.”

          • Yes, and those British soldiers had that one dude chained up to see how long he would survive with the virus to get an idea when it would be clear (amount of time for infected to die).

          • They killed by biting. Hence the “apostrophes” in the word “ate”…

            • They spread the virus by bodily fluid, via biting included.

            • Still technically wrong. Biting in this sense is injuring. Eating is consuming. We have established that the infected in 28 Days After did not consume.

              And in that case, the entire premise of your argument and hoora for the WWZ movie as possibly the next greatest “zombie” movie phenomenon, as Pete pointed earlier, is also wrong, since live infected humans who have lost all sense of consciousness but the single-mindedness to destroy other humans are not “zombies” in the traditional holly wood sense. Zombies are dead, infected, re-animated cadavers with the sole instinct to consume flesh – preferably human.

              Putting “quotation marks” around a word does not validate your argument or someone else’s failure to grasp it (particularly when the premise itself is wrong). It only validates your lack of ability to communicate a point and grasp a subject.

              • Ok cool Eve. You’re right.

  12. Talk about bitching over semantics.

    The 28 Days/Weeks series were zombie-genre movies, no amount of whining over the meaning of words will change that.

    I like this WWZ style zombie. I like the rush of action, terror and adrenaline they inspire, give me this over the tepid lumbering zombies any day. I am also glad they aren’t aping the book, the book and it’s interview-style documentary approach was horribly boring.

    • Exactly dude! Although personally I enjoyed the slow pace of the book.

  13. Go Nazi or Die!!! jkjk ;p

  14. I have just finished reading the book, and I am completely in disbelief that the producers/writers/director can get away with the title. From I have seen in the previews this movie will be nothing like the book. Instead “they” have tossed in this Tomb raideresc movie into the public without thinking about what we as the audience, consumer, whatever expect. I will not be attending this movie, and frankly I can not think any one who has read the book would. The book’s story line is so encompassing of the whole world after this horrible event, and the stories of the many men and women that lived it and lost loved ones. It reaches into the heart of the reader and says, “hey, just stick together and we can and will survive.” I fear the movie will not only not do justice for the book, but will in fact insult the reader.