‘World War Z’ Changes Revealed; Brad Pitt Hints at Sequels

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World War Z poster2 World War Z Changes Revealed; Brad Pitt Hints at Sequels

[WARNING: ‘World War Z’ Spoilers Ahead!]

Director Marc Forster and producer/star Brad Pitt’s globetrotting zombie outbreak thriller World War Z was released on June 21st, and despite the well-documented troubles with the film – including extensive re-shoots and bringing in three high profile screenwriters to write a new ending – the movie is getting pretty good reviews (check out SR’s review here) on top of a solid box office debut.

We’ve known for a while that the film’s original ending – an epic battle with the zombie horde in Russia – was scrapped and writers Damon Lindelof (Prometheus), Drew Goddard (co-writer and director of Cabin In The Woods) and Christopher McQuarrie (writer and director of Jack Reacher) were brought in to reshape the movie. Certain questions remained regarding who wrote what. Plus, Brad Pitt has indicated that sequels could be in the cards.

Everyone involved with the film agreed from the beginning that it would depart from the 2006 novel by Max Brooks, which is episodic in nature as an unnamed narrator recounts the “oral history of the zombie war” from multiple viewpoints.

The first pass at the script was done by J. Michael Straczynski (the Superman: Earth One graphic novels). When his approach was rejected, the producers turned to Matthew Michael Carnahan, who re-worked it into more of an action-adventure, which attracted Pitt to star (Pitt’s Plan B studio had won the rights to the book in a bidding war with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way).

Brad Pitt and zombie World War Z Changes Revealed; Brad Pitt Hints at Sequels

By early 2012, things were apparently so tense between Brad Pitt and Marc Forster that the two had stopped speaking to one another. Damon Lindelof was brought in to view a rough cut and re-structure the ending. Lindelof brought in Drew Goddard, whom he had worked with on Lost.

According to a report from HuffPost Entertainment, the dividing line was the point when Brad Pitt’s character Gerry Lane boards a plane out of Jerusalem. Apparently, everything that happens inside the plane and everything that comes after was written by Lindelof and Goddard, with Christopher McQuarrie subsequently brought in to “sharpen” the new stuff.

Besides the ending, other scenes in the final film which did not exist prior to Lindelof and Goddard’s involvement include two near the beginning (you might want to skip this part if you haven’t seen the film):

‘World War Z’ opens with Lane and his wife, Karen (Mireille Enos), being awakened by their daughters, Rachel and Constance. The next scene finds the family in the kitchen eating breakfast as reports of the first ‘rabies’ (i.e., zombie) outbreak is announced on the television.

Two more scenes were added later:

In one, Lane, who is driving the family from Philadelphia to Newark, New Jersey, in a commandeered RV, has to pull over to treat Rachel’s asthma attack. In the other, Lane phones Karen during a plane ride from South Korea to Jerusalem.

Paramount has invested a hefty amount of time, money and resources into this project, and while the film has debuted at number 2 behind Monsters University, its first weekend is estimated at a healthy $60 million. So it’s not much of a surprise to hear early talks of a sequel – or even a trilogy. Indeed, this seems to have been the plan all along.

While attending a gala premiere for World War Z at the 35th Moscow International Film Festival, Brad Pitt seemed optimistic about the idea of continuing the story, telling The Hollywood Reporter:

“There’s enough to mine from the book. We could barely get a fraction of the book in. So we’ll see. We’ll see.”

Director Marc Forster did not directly address sequel possibilities, but did address the question of whether or not we would see Brad Pitt in any future installments, saying: “Hopefully, but let’s see how things go.”

Now, Pitt’s statement about only including a “fraction” of the book is not an exaggeration. Besides the fact that the book takes place ten years after the zombie apocalypse has been quelled and is told from many different perspectives, the character Gerry Lane doesn’t appear at all and was added by Straczynski, one of the few holdovers in subsequent drafts of the script.

Brad Pitt with an axe World War Z Changes Revealed; Brad Pitt Hints at Sequels

In theory, there is a huge variety of stories in this universe. One of the most arresting chapters in the book is how a famous filmmaker dealt with the crisis – he did so by making documentaries on how average people made a stand, then distributed them in any way possible to help morale.

That chapter alone could be a whole movie, and a way to do something innovative with the found-footage sub-genre. The chapter – and the book as a whole – contains stinging barbs directed at a soft and entitled North American population, who would be unprepared for a real life hostile invasion or a plague.

That’s a bit much for a straight-forward piece of popcorn entertainment, so unless the studio, producers and writers decide to take a chance and journey out of their safe zone, expect more of the same.

World War Z is now in theaters.


Source: HuffPost Entertainment & THR

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. good reviews? have you read reviews by those who watched it? on screenrant and imdb nearly everyone who has seen it hates it, including myself. and everything from the plane to the end is really stupid. but so is everything before.
    a grenade blows up in a plane, the guy gets impaled, and the plane crashes. and guess who survives all that but no one else? welcome to facebook?
    the posters suck, the previews suck, the zombies suck (and no, I didn’t pay to see it) and the film sucked. it was the worst piece of senseless crap, yet again by lindelof, that I have seen in since I can remember when.
    sequels? they should save their money so you can save yours.

    • You know they don’t tend to make movies about the people who don’t survive Zombie outbreaks, right? These types of movies are pure escapism, amazing stories told about amazing/lucky/heroic people, and if the hero can’t survive a plane crash then what’s the point? I personally enjoyed the movie, I wasn’t super hyped going into it because the Zombie genre isn’t my thing, but I was thrilled the whole way through the film.

    • easy trigger! no need to get hasty! Sure it wasn’t incredible and it certainly wasn’t the best film so far this year, but it was entertaining enough and had a decent ending considering the rewrites and all that was put into it.

    • @realist
      I agree that the end was too quiet for my taste but Only Survivors can recount a story. If he is dead then what’s the point. :)

    • 67 percent on rotten tomatoes. So that still gives it a fresh rating. And yes, rotten tomatoes does play a factor when people look up a movie. It will probably make $60 million by Sunday. That’s 20 million more than they were expecting. So it’s still going to do okay. And obviously people have enjoyed it.

      • it annoys me a little that this movie has better RT ratings than Man Of Steel.
        I just got back from this movie, and after reading all the trashing it’s taken on forums, I expected it to be poop,
        but I gotta tell ya, it was entertaining. not 67% fresh entertaining, but it wasn’t a total stinker.
        The voiceover at the end didn’t really work fofr me, and the casting was a bit off [IMO] and the dialogue was weak in important parts, but to be fair, it did hold my interest all the way to the end.

        I’d have liked to see more character development of the Israeli soldier lady, but I gotta tell ya, I found it entertaining.

        Now maybe because I never read the book, but it wasn’t all bad.

        The only gripe I have is critics rating this a better movie than Man of Steel.
        that just doesn’t make sense. I feel like because MOS was a “Superman” movie, and because folks are so loyal to the previous versions, and the “legend” of Superman, MOS has been held to a much higher standard than any other film released thus far this year…

        makes you scratch your head.

        • MOS should have been two movies. There should have been no flash backs. We should have seen Krypton as we did, Clark arriving and struggling as a baby, as a child and then becoming someone who helps others as a teenager. Then we should have seen Clark as a young adult dealing with the death of his father. Then up until his thirties being the hero all over North America as a man. Then slowly but surely becoming Superman. Only for him to question himself when saving Earth and killing Zod. Why did the majority of this have to be flashbacks or people talking about the past???

          What we got was a rushed movie that doesn’t connect with the character at all. Most of the movie was almost like oh we forgot to tell you about this so FYI here is a tiny flashback of something that is relevant but we don’t consider it relevant enough to not be a meaningless flashback.

          Some of the fist pieces of footage we saw that gave us hope this would be deep and thoughtful movie, turn out to be almost unused.

          • sooooooooo what does thay have to do with WWZ?

          • I totally agree what you are saying I did not like the flashbacks I would have rather seen him as a child first when he came to earth like the smallville series which I really enjoyed….

            • As for wwz I thought it was a very good movie I hope they make a sequal.. :)

    • If anyone can remember my rants from back after the initial stories of the film, I hated the idea, mainly because they took the name and screwed the book.

      That said, the films was enjoyable to watch, as long as you went in expecting anything but WWZ.

      • That being said, I think they should end the films here, wait a few years a maybe sell the rights to someone like AMC who could do a mini-series based on the book itself.

        • The film did make me want to go back and watch all the walking dead stuff on Netflix though

      • +1

    • Haha please don’t post on here anymore… all you did was express an opinion with childish remarks. they took what they had and made a movie out of it and let’s be honest it could have been a lot worse.

    • Thays not true your not a realist your a hater

  2. I was pretty much disappointed with the Movie, It was getting so boring I did dose off a few times, oh it had it’s moments, but that’ it a few moments. and ya it lived up to it’s PG13 rated, heck they could have rated PG and still get by on it, if it wasn;t for a couple of scenes, they could have place a G rating on it. Thank God the Walking Dead will be back soon, I can get my REAL Zombie fix in then.

    • +1

    • Now I like the Walking Dead too but you praise it while claim World War Z was boring? The Walking Dead usually spends about four episodes a season doing absolutely nothing. There were some things I didn’t like about WWZ but it definitely wasn’t boring.

  3. I didn’t read the book, but I can understand if people are upset that it is different from such book. But to be honest this was one of the best movies I have ever seen. I am not a pro in the “zombie genre” but as an overall film I thought it was absolutely AMAZING!
    Everything was wonderful. Yea I get the fact that Gerry only walked away with a head wound and a piece of shrapnel in his abdomen but I still found it very very good.
    One of the best films for the casual zombie fan and the person who enjoys suspense.
    I respect the opinion of others who say it wasn’t good, but to me and my friend who saw the movie, it was a Great MOVIE to say the least.

    If you want to see a suspenseful movie, go and see this.

    • whoah… slow down there cowboy… entertaining is one thing, but AMAZING? slow down, you’re over the speed limit


      • WITH WILL….

  4. “Everyone involved with the film agreed from the beginning that it would depart from the 2006 novel by Max Brooks, which is episodic in nature as an unnamed narrator recounts the “oral history of the zombie war” from multiple viewpoints.”

    The narrator IS named, in the introduction, on the first or second page. His name is “Max Brooks.”

  5. It sounds like if they really want to adapt this story faithfully, a tv miniseries may do it more justice.

  6. I really enjoyed it. Bring on the sequel! :)

  7. What a brilliant year of movies! Hope they will go on with 2014, 2015 and so on

  8. Haven’t read the book(s), but from the commercials for it, it appears that there is a lot of bad CGI in it. How and why are the zombies moving so fast, too? If these are the walking dead, where do they get their accelerated energy and quick movements from? I’m sure there is more to it than I know, but it just looks a little ridiculous, even for a zombie movie. And then, there is Brad Pitt in it, too…

    • Yeah I wondered about that, but in a way it could make sense. From my hazy memory of the book, the Zombies blood plasma was effectively replaced or changed into some other form of circulatory ‘fuel’ for their bodies.

      But basically, it could render each zombie a form of Captain America style ‘super soldier’. Their muscles no longer fatigue, so they can move at absolute maximum speed their muscles are capable of virtually indefinitely. The zombies don’t get tired, nor do they feel pain, so they can launch themselves at people and things with maximum force, and they can sustain that force, so it makes them seem ‘faster’ and ‘stronger’ then a normal human.

      You’ve heard stories of housewives lifting up cars to save their children through extreme adrenaline boost. Well, the sludge flowing through the zombie could work the same way, but full time. Scary proposition…

      • max brooks wrote 2 books about zombies. in the first, “the zombie survival guide”, he outlines the traits and characteristics of the disease which causes zombieism, which is called solanum. one of the main characteristics of the walking dead is that they do not heal. you know the way your muscles hurt the next day after you exercise? that’s because you tore the muscle, and now its healing, bigger and stronger. when zombies use their muscles they don’t heal, so over time they weaken and decay to the point of being useless. according to max brooks’ books this takes between five and ten years under normal conditions (not desert, rain forest or tundra). now, human beings do have the capacity to jump higher, run faster and lift more than we normally do, but our brains suppress our muscles because of the injuries these exertions tend to cause. when a mother lifts a car off her baby (this kind of thing does happen) it is because her maternal instinct has overridden her personal injury suppression instinct. this is also why mentally handicapped (cerebral palsy, etc.) people sometimes exhibit seemingly unnatural strength. however, if zombies were to over exert themselves to the extent that they do in this blasphemous disaster of a film they would be functionally incapacitated in less than a week. in short: super zombies=hide out for a few days. p.s. now i hate brad pitt. he left out the south african plan? jesus, that was the whole point of the book.

  9. Jesus Noooo.

    • Haven’t seen the film but from what I gather they aren’t dead. They get bitten which passes a disease along into the host and within seconds they are consumed by it. So they are still alive and have all the capabilities of themselves such as speed and agility.

      • I see this s*** 12 second and you are a infected they bite not eat people.

  10. Why adapt a book into a movie and change everything from the book? I just don’t get it, the book isn’t that highly popular but still they continued to use the title of the book. Articles, news, and reviews should stop with the “this was adapted from a book” when apparently the whole story is different, even the lead character in the film wasn’t even in the book. They should have change the title, I guess the producers are TOO LAZY to come up with a new title. War of The Zombies, Zombie Wars, Zombiecalypse, United Nation of Zombies, World Wrestling Zombies (WWZ). I mean they can’t come up with that?

    ZOMBIES will always be entertaining regardless how crap the story are, i mean, just ask the Resident Evil Film Franchise. Even the recent movie “Warm Bodies” was crap but critics/moviegoers still loved it.

    • That’s funny I expressed the same opinion about ‘X-Men: First Class’ and nobody cared. The audience in general doesn’t seem to care about the content as it relates to the title. Apparently all they care about is how snappy it sounds when they articulate it. Like “three for ‘First Class’ or one for ‘World War Z'” when they’re at the ticket counter…

  11. I didn’t read the book so I had no preconcieved ideas and I am not a Zombie purist. I am from the view point that a Zombie is a Zombie is a Zombie (or a rose by any other name is still a rose). That is to say, they go after the living (slow or fast)to kill with blood and gore, but in this case (WWZ) infection. I went in just hoping for a nail biting summer fun movie with my fav, Pitt. I was not disappointed. I liked that the Zombies here were really second to the story relative to the why, how and the the resolution. I liked that there were no robots or supervillains,etc. I thought the movie was fast, intense, suspensefull and look forward to a sequel to see how it would go about curing and ridding the world of the fast infecting zombies.

  12. The ending was terribly anti-climatic, and I though the entire time at WHO was stupid/boring. They should have started with Patient Zero, otherwise it was a mysterious disease caused by what and who care??? What did he inject himself with? Why didnt he DIE from it or even have symptoms?! You are supposed to walk around with Typhoid or whatever in your body, to avoid zombies? What?? And they don’t eat people, they apparently bite and move on, for what reason? Walking Dead has raised the bar, this was very disappointing and boring.
    Time for Lindelof to STOP trying to write exciting sci-fi (he screwed up Prometheus!). What

    • Did you not watch the same movie as everyone else? Do you seriously not understand why the zombies did not eat people? Do you not remember anything that was discussed about the virus in the movie?

    • I follow you with thinking about patient zero, but I think that will be explored in the sequel. Humanity needed time or there would be no humans left to find the cure. Like you said, you can’t keep injecting yourself with deadly diseases. Maybe that can be explored in future movies. Perhaps humans make themselves immune by continually getting sick and trying to get well.

    • It clearly showed a scene were one of the W.H.O. doctors was injecting Pitt with a vaccine for what can be inferred to be meningitis.

  13. Just as a point of information, after Gerry infected himself, walked past the Zombies and returned to the lab with the doctors, the female injected an antibody in his arm. (If one is too project a sense a realism in this fantasy,then maybe from the time he injected himself, waited a while to emit any ‘vapors’ for Zombies to detect, I assumed the virus (?) was not in his system long enough to display physical symptoms). Since there were surveillance cameras on him as he injected himself doctors could see what he used. I thought the ending was typically and puposefully anti-climatic, as any movie with anticipated sequel; not too mention the foreshadowing of Gerry’s last words. As for the other questions about folks having to walk around with some unknown disease, I guess that will be tackled in the sequel!! :)

  14. Hi first time commenting, long time reader… I went into wwz thinking the worst (fan of the book, fan of slow zombies aka zombie purist) but I thought it was enjoyable. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible. I actually liked Brad Pitt in it and rooted for his character . He did a good job with what he was supposed to do. I got passed the fact of the “fast zombies” going in thinking , “Well at least if they are fast we might get some great action pieces” but was highly disappointed that the best action/cgi zombie battles where only the ones shown in the trailers. I knew they would stray away from the book but I though it at least would be an action zombie thriller. Battle of Yonkers could have been a really cool scene. Also i did like the global scope of the pandemic/apocalypse but felt it could have been utilized more. Would love to see more of how other countries dealt with the situation politically and with the military. just my opinion

  15. I liked it but as soon as they left the facility in Wales the movie should have ended. Especially if they planned on making a sequel or two. I also do not know why people are complaining about the lack of blood and guts. Did they not listen to anything that was said in the movie? I wonder how the North Koreans are. Despite their measures, it would be pretty hard anyway for the virus to enter NK let alone spread to a dangerous level.

  16. Even Ebola Virus requires 24 hours befor bodily symptoms show. Secondly, the words zombie, Rashasha “Indian for zombie”, undead are used throughout the movie, especially during major moments of important dialog. The most important point to make is to the &$#% fanboys who say the movie only shares the title and nothing more. 8ull5hit! If you were truly a fan of Max Brooks you would know that, though he refuses to accept the “running zombie” he does quite specifically say that the zombie IS THE PLAGUE. It is the articulated plague that exists only to spread itself. He states this in his books, interviews and q&a’s at comic con. So, if your going to attempt to argue in favor of the book try reading it instead of lying about reading it. And to the person that said he Dozed Off during the show… 8ull5hit! You’re either a liar or stone deaf. To the rest of you.. This is why you see it and then decide for yourself because as this forum has shown, there are just those who chose to spew inaccurate garbage as quickly as zombie spew their infection. Think for yourselves and yo always be fine :)

    • Well said Andrea. Well said. I really like ScreenRant, but I’ve noticed that there are far too many people who come here just to spout their venom. It’s fine to dislike a movie, but I find it hard to believe that with the really absolute crap that is out there that films like MoS and WWZ can illicit these sorts of responses. But to each their own. I liked the film and enjoyed a new take on the zombies instead of your stereotypical Frankenstein walk Zombie. I will see sequels gladly. Doesn’t mean anyone else has to look forward to any sequels.

  17. I saw the movie on Friday night and I loved it.

    Great movie! Very entertaining.

  18. F**K this movie!!!!

    and to the critics who gave it a higher rating than MOS!! some people don’t know a good movie if it slapped them in the crotch

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