‘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. Ok…World War Z Book. Done right. Brilliant Story.

    World War Z Movie….Pretty much every Zombie Movie ever made, with a few subtle changes.

  2. I seen this with Will Smith, it was done already… wasn’t it?

  3. Wtf…. Y couldn’t this be more of a drama than a thriller walking dead style… Ugh!

  4. this looks so bad

    what respect i did have for brad pitt is gone

    • all respect gone for maybe making a bad movie??? seriously?

    • What respect I had for him died with the new Chanel ad.

      • Now THAT’s a good reason! :D

        But then again, if someone came to you and said “Here’s a million bucks, if you come and say a couple of retarded lines into the camera.”, would you say no? ;)

  5. Running zombies….Really?

    • Seems more like zombie made tidal wave? Very wierd.

      • Yeah they’re swarming like ants. Like they are working together in purpose. Seems more like the vampire things from “I am Legend”.

        • Ants… They were called the Siafu by the Japanese otaku.

    • If I had his money then yeah I’d say no.

  6. I tought this was to be an after the zombies movie… shame.

  7. WOW! A lot of comments about 15 seconds of footage.. Get a grip people! Has Brad Pitt done a bad movie in the last 10 years? If he has, please let me know what they are.. He usually does good movies and plays good parts. I’ll wait and see it before I make a ridiculous comment about 15 seconds of footage..

    • because it took all of 2 seconds for fans of the book to know, this movie is no where near the book.

      So, that is 13 seconds more than we needed. But thanks.

    • Interview with a Vampire.
      Meet Joe Black
      The Devils Own
      Legends of the Fall
      Oceans 12 and 13. How anyone can think those two were good, is beyond me.

      Yeah, those are all the bad movies Brad Pitt has done.

      • Actually, I really liked Ocean’s 12… But the rest of your list is rock solid about bad choices.
        The swelling tumbling waterflowing zombie horde ALONE was enough to call this one. They chose fast zombies, okay. It’s a choice, but it’s not the story the book told…

      • I like all those movies lol

      • i like most of those movies lol Troy was bad ass in my book. May not follow the story much but doesn’t mean it wasnt good. You sound more like a hater if anything

        • Nope, I hate nothing.

        • Why would I Hate on Brad Pitt? Hmm?

          Let me think??

          Umm…Nope, Pretty much have a Rock Solid Life, Great Wife, Great Kids, Damn Cool ass job. Yeah. I love my life.

          Just stated Brad Pitt has done some bad movies.

    • yep, that’s what i’m sayin

    • ummmm.. yes he has done bad movies. This movie looks TERRIBLE. World War Z, the book, is NOTHING like this.

  8. Brad’s the biggest zombie

  9. I love zombie fiction; it’s my favorite genre.

    And World War Z is the best zombie anything – book, movie, show, game – I have ever read or seen and is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s my personal stranded-on-an-island must-have.

    Nothing else in the genre has such scope or touched on so many aspects that I never even thought to consider: the virus could spread not just through bites but blood transfusions, etc; how governments would logically respond; how governments and communities would rebuild; how current tactics wouldn’t work and how they would have to evolve to defeat such a treat.

    The action scenes were visceral and unique, the human element was both touching and chilling, the post-disaster interview format was brilliant…and this is what we get?

    Now I love fast zombies. 28 Days Later and the Dawn remake are some of my favorites, but the encroaching-all coming hoard that couldn’t be stopped, that would keep coming no matter what, that could sneak up on you, that was the book, that was such a huge element of World War Z.

    But the most important question is how fast do people change in the movie. Because in the book the change is slow and depends on the nature of infection. Sure a bite or scratch could kill and change you fast, but Max’s premise was more insidious and inventive. Skin grafts, blood transfusions, organ transplants from infected people would introduce the infection to others and then those now-infected people could travel around the globe and change weeks later. That’s how and why zombies became a global threat in the book.

    So I really, really hope they don’t change that aspect. But besides that? Hate the CGI, although I guess it’s the only way to realistically depict the multi-million plus hordes that were in the book. And I do remember there being literally towering mounds of zombies and the coming horde climbing over the walls of dead to attack. But not like a tidal wave

    So I still have hope. That full trailer can make it or break it for me. Jack Reacher and now this? All my fiction favorites are being butchered on-screen.

    • Ah yes, what he called the “slow burn”.

    • One of the characters in the book called it “ramping up” when they try and climb over each other to get at fresh human meat.

  10. This looks like “The Day After Tomorrow” but with Zombies instead of water.

    • +1

  11. The Zombies in World War Z, Will do more harm to themselves.

    The Rushing wave of zombies, a lot of broken legs and crushed skulls out that one.

    The over turning of the bus.

    The ablity to form a collective and use each other to scale a wall. Remainng Humans letting this happen.

  12. i was looking forward to seeing the blind samurai take on groups of like 50 zombies…

    i dont see how thats fitting in this. they should have just had a “based on world war z” instead of naming the movie it.

    i expected something else, my fault i guess

    • I want to see the Raj Singh (RS) Square, and they BETTER have the scene of the swarm clean ups with Iron Maiden’s Trooper blasting!

  13. I think the film will obviously be radically different from the book (and it’s source material, the Third World War) but after seeing the trailer, I like it. I blogged about the trailer, Max Brooks and General Sir John Hackett’s earlier book here:

  14. I’m kind of hoping that the sequence with the undead piling up on the wall is just the marketing for the letter Z on the title card. That looks more like it belongs in Constantine, since it seems out of place when you look at the set photos, either way I’m onboard simply because it’s zombies and the book was enjoyable. However I better not find out that Damon Lindelof pull story points out of the final script just to do a sequel aka Prometheus storytelling.

  15. The trailer to me revealed that from the books standpoint it’s horrible(from the trailers trailer). I think this will still be successful because it will more than likely target the larger audience who haven’t even read the books and you also have the whole Brad Pitt scenerio where for whatever reason the films the guy is in/does seems to do okay in the box office.
    I wasn’t expecting much since Drew Goddard/Damon Lindelof rewrote some of the script. I didn’t trust the whole idea of them keeping to the book anyways so it is what it is. Thank you Hollywood, LOL

  16. I remember hearing about WWZ a couple of years ago from this dude at work. He was so into it and was lending me the book, now I regret it. From what I gathered it looks like 28 Days later on Roid Rage and No-Explode combined. It looked like waves of zombies…Or Piranhas..Or Zombiranhas!

    • Zombiranhas! Now that’s scary!
      Wonder if it will show the zombies walking around at the bottom of lakes and stuff.

  17. wait, that titdle wave of CGI was supposed to zombies? oh s*** hollywood, what have you done

  18. maybe they could just change the title to left 4 dead?

  19. OH NO! Computer generated blob-zombies, OH MY! (this looks atrocious)

  20. again – writers/producers screwing around with a BESTSELLING series [or book]. THEN it gets jacked up [Super Mario Bros, SHOOTER] and bears little resemblence to what the FANS who bought the property [book/books] for in the FIRST place… So, when it falls on its face, everyone wonders why [in the hollywood offices WHO made the BAD decisions all along] it didn’t get the praise “it” deserved. No, I see BAD for this movie. This much BAD leadership/management ALWAYS means poor story, poor editing, no appeal to the “fan boys/girls” who generate all the hype on-line… hope I’m wrong, but feel that I’m not…

  21. What I really can’t wait for is the robopocalypse movie since I have just started reading the book and its very engrossing and interesting so far.

  22. ‘The book bored me and I didn’t like the format of District 9′. You’ll probably love this movie then. District 9 was excellent precisely because Hollywood didn’t get their grubby mitts on it. It was a low budget surprise hit. This movie might be ok in the same way the Resident Evil movies are ok. But why call it ‘World War Z’ when it’s obvious from the first two seconds of the trailer it has zero to do with the book. Why not make a cgi-laden zombie movie for the xbox generation, call it something else and let someone else who actually appreciates the source material have a crack at making WWZ? Imagine if they’d made Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter and changed it this much? It makes no sense. Why bother buying the rights to the book at all? They’ve used the name and nothing else. Got to say that for me much of the blame lies with Max Brooks. He was the only one who could have stopped this.

  23. ‘The book bored me and I didn’t like the format of District 9′. You’ll love this movie then. District 9 was excellent precisely because Hollywood didn’t get their grubby mitts on it. It was a low budget surprise hit. This movie might be ok in the same way the Resident Evil movies are ok. But why call it ‘World War Z’ when it’s obvious from the first two seconds of the trailer it has zero to do with the book. Why not make a cgi-laden zombie movie for the xbox generation, call it something else and let someone else who actually appreciates the source material have a crack at making WWZ? Imagine if they’d made Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter and changed it this much? It makes no sense. Why bother buying the rights to the book at all? They’ve used the name and nothing else. Got to say that for me much of the blame lies with Max Brooks. He was the only one who could have stopped this.

  24. Sorry for the double post. This site doesn’t work too well on the iPhone.

  25. The fast zombie idea is so dumb. Max Brooks took inspiration from the god of the genre, George A Romero, and based his zombies on the living dead concept not the stupid running dead that seems to be popular ever since Snyder messed up the Dawn of the Dead remake. 28 Days/Weeks Later were cool because they were not dead people that had risen, they were simple crazy folk looking for something to eat. Its a shame Brad Pitt and his Hollywood buddies have messed with such a great book. All the great horror creatures are being screwed up these days. Vampires by Twilight, zombies by this and the Dawn remake, and werewolves by Twilight (apparently they are shape shifters and not true werewolves but I am not an SME on Twilight crap). I hope George A Romero does another movie soon. Even though his last few movies are not cinematic masterpieces I still enjoy them.

  26. I haven’t read the book yet. So I’m not going to Nerd Hate on this like most of the nerds already have. Looks pretty cool. I always wanted to see a zombie apocalypse movie where I can witness a lot of military action. Looks like I’ll finally get my wish.

    • Define Nerd?

      What makes a fan of a book become nerds? Is it the fact, that as fans,we were somewhat disappointed in how even for 15 seconds we saw enough to know that World War Z is nothing like the book, but in name only?

  27. As a Zombie fan, I am going to see this Movie, I will just divest myself of the fact it is not based on the book in content, but name only.

    That way, I do not have to go in with high expectation, and will see the movie during the aftenoon hours as not to spend to much money on this.

    Yes, I do believe Paramount wanted it to be more Blockbuster and that is their choice, but with the amount of re-writes and re-shoots it tells me this movie is going to ….well…..”Over moisturize the Kim Kardashian ample rear big time.”

  28. Battle of Yonkers, is what I was looking forward to, Army thinking they are going up a convential enemy and watching in horror as every shot they take, the Zs keep coming. Yonkers in the book, 10 Million Zombies, and the US Armed Forces frantically trying to kill them, not knowing the only was was a shot to the head.

    But with this being a bio hazard, the Military was wearing Haz-Mat suits, which not only affected their aim, but because of the heat, they were suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion. They got tired and the enemy did not…Wave after wave of Zs coming at them and retreating. Then the military decided to use incindary devices, only to have Flaming Z Approach them without stopping.

    The Blind Samuri as stated by Brandon, on how he took out the Zs.

    I wanted to see General Singh, bring down a moutain top and bury the Zs, and then ultimately forming a square to fight off the Zs from all sides till he ran out of ammo, and how the US Military adapted it and it proved useful…I also loved the part when the US Military reverted back to a more simple weapon, The SIRs,PIES and LOBOS…How they ranged the Zs as they marched across the United States forming to lines and advancing west to east, every town, every city and every house. How they range the Zs and shot them, then let them pile up, and let the remaining Zs climb over the other Zs….Till they made it to New York and wipe the Zs From the United States.

    The use of Nuclear Weapons, that did nothing.

    Some of it may make it into the movie, some may not, but that is what I loved about the Book, the walk on the highway with Zs trapped in cars looking at their food walk by….

    • Instead, we’ll surf the Tzunami!

    • I wonder if they will start it from the young Chinese “patient 0″ boy that got bit diving with his father.

  29. I may be in the minority but I can’t wait to see this movie.

    And since I’m not trying to impress anybody with movie snobbery…I’d like to say…this looks cool as s***.

    You people that decide a movie sucks before you even see it, are hilarious!

    • Several Writers, Writers Bought in at last minute, 7 Weeks of re-shoots, Capt Insano, tell me what movie is good under that.

      And once again, when people like the direction of a book, and the movie is just another run of the mill resident evil, with a big name star and big budget.

      YOU PEOPLE who blow their wad over the slightest bit of CGI Stuff….