Paramount Pictures’ adaptation of Max Brooks’ popular allegorical zombie novel, World War Z, has attracted its fair share of controversy due to a handful of issues – including, plans for the $125 million project to be Rated PG-13 and the substantial narrative differences between Brooks’ book and its cinematic counterpart.

Today, we have another piece of World War Z-related news that is also bound to be divisive; it turns out that the Brad Pitt-starring movie could kick off a new trilogy of zombpocalyptic flicks.

The LA Times is reporting that Paramount executives and World War Z helmer Marc Forster view the project as the first in three flicks which would blend “the grounded, gun-metal realism of [the Jason Bourne series with] the unsettling end-times vibe of AMC’s The Walking Dead.” The publication also compares the first WWZ film to Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, with regards to its “geo-political bent” and how it functions as part social commentary, part Hollywood blockbuster.

Here is an official plot synopsis for the World War Z movie:

The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.

As was noted in our WWZ movie vs. book breakdown, it sounds as though Forster’s adaptation basically abandons the narrative structure of Brooks’ source material, in favor of a more generic reluctant-hero-saves-the-world thriller (ex. Armageddon, The Day After Tomorrow, etc.). While there have been entertaining films of that ilk released in the past, the storyline departure has understandably left many WWZ novel fans frustrated.

Brad Pitt on the set of 'World War Z'

Hollywood’s love affair with franchises has (in all honestly) been going on for almost the entirety of its existence. All the same, there’s been an observable increase in the number of titles manufactured to immediately lend themselves to a sequel (or more) in recent years.

Sometimes, those attempts pay off handsomely (see: Sherlock Holmes) while other times those films seem to suffer from being pre-packaged as the first installment in a new movie property (see: Green Lantern). Upcoming new spins on old ideas, including titles such as Snow White and the Huntsman and The Amazing Spider-Man, are likewise hoping to prove lucrative enough to inspire multiple followups.

That’s all to say: with its familiarly dark and gritty tone, traditional blockbuster plotline, and built-in sequel(s) potential, World War Z reads as being as ordinary a Hollywood blockbuster as any being made nowadays. Whether or not it will ultimately be any good, though, remains to be seen.

Look for World War Z to lumber into theaters around the U.S. on December 21st, 2012.

Source: LA Times