The film adaptation of Max Brooks' World War Z is a good example of how quickly things can turn around for a Hollywood production. A few weeks ago the project was said to be at risk of collapsing, with Paramount scrambling to find co-financiers for the pricey $125 million zombpocalypse thriller.
Just a week later there was word that Paramount had essentially secured that desired financial support and development of the flick was back on track. Now it looks like World War Z could actually begin filming as soon as next month - or possibly before the end of April, even.
Bleeding Cool has learned that director of photography Robert Richardson - who recently completed his duties on Martin Scorsese's Hugo Cabret - is actively prepping for World War Z to begin production overseas in London. That means director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) could be looking to begin shooting his adaptation even sooner than June - a start date previously viewed as being met in only a best case scenario.
[UPDATE: Elstree is officially denying that production on World War Z will be based at its London studio.]
For those unfamiliar with World War Z, here's an official description of Brooks' original novel:
We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, 'World War Z' is the only record of the plague years.
Brad Pitt is attached to star in World War Z as as the United Nations Postwar Commission agent that interviews individuals who survived the battle against the legions of undead. Screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski's (Thor) script has earned more than its fair share of positive buzz, and reportedly restructures Brooks' source material so that Pitt's character serves as the central protagonist of the piece.
Forster is also planning on delivering a PG-13 Rated World War Z movie, which makes the project look all the more lucrative to studio officials - and partly explains why Paramount worked so hard to prevent the adaptation from collapsing. Fans of the original novel and zombie enthusiasts alike are sure to be divided over the prospect of World War Z not being Rated R, but I think it's feasible - though it will mean the film won't deliver the loads of gore that some moviegoers want.
It also makes sense that production on World War Z is being fast-tracked even more than was previously speculated. With more than half a dozen high-profile zombie pics either being actively developed or slated to hit theaters in the near future, Paramount would want to beat the pack with its own costly venture. So long as the project isn't rushed too much (and it doesn't look to be), that strategy should be to the studio's benefit.
We'll continue to keep you posted on the status of World War Z. Does it sounds enticing so far?
Source: Bleeding Cool