After a series of production delays, that have included extensive re-writes of the script, re-shoots of principal photography, and release date changes, World War Z will finally be released in theatres June 21, 2013. An adaptation of the novel “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War” by Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, fans of the book are eager to know how screenwriters Matthew Michael Carnahan and Drew Goddard (Cabin In The Woods), and Damon Lindelof (Prometheus) re-imagined the story for movie screens; and if it will be anything like the book.
The novel “World War Z” is structured as a compilation of first-person stories chronicling a decade long zombie war. It does not have a singular protagonist, or one notable story that combines all of the narratives. “World War Z” is a book about many, and the different ways they have experienced the zombie war. It even includes stories about changes in the religious, geo-political, and overall environment of the world. Adapting a book that will never find its characters together, or bring about a finale where everything is strung together into a neat and tidy Hollywood ending is a feat that should have deterred screenwriters because its incredibly difficult. This may well be why the movie has been plagued with so many problems since development–its simply a difficult piece of source material to work with. Especially if one decides to include the political ramifications of the war; Cuba becomes a democratic country with a strong economy and is the international banking capital, while China has also become a democracy and Tibet has been freed from their rule. Iceland is the most heavily populated zombie locale, while Russia has begun a breeding program by force impregnating their women. As for North Korea, its a wasteland, with its entire population presumed to be underground but no one knows for sure. As for The West, things have changed as well, especially with the destruction of the Saudi Arabia oil fields. World War Z is a movie adapted from a novel heavy on social and political commentary, two topics Hollywood Blockbusters are not keen on delving deeply into. Then what will World War Z be like?
World War Z, based on what has been seen in trailers and written about in a deluge of articles, focuses on one family, The Lane’s, led by the father, United Nations employee Gerald Lane (Brad Pitt), mother Karen (Mireille Enos of “The Killing”), and their daughters, along with action-packed destructive sequences featuring an array of special effects. It is a Summer Blockbuster popcorn flick if there ever was one. The zombie war is at its beginning and within a mere ninety days humanity will be lost; the Lane’s are separated when Gerald is called away to help fight the war. What becomes of his family during this time is unknown, and what he actually does is left to a few conjectures based on footage in the trailer. Gerald is on the search for a cure, a weakness, anything to stop the zombie’s ruthless assault and destruction. Much of the trailers for the film focus on the quick-paced zombies, a far reach from the slow movers audiences are used to seeing since the grandfather of zombie movie’s Night of the Living Dead. The search for a cure leads one to believe that there will be a very different ending to World War Z than there was in the novel, where zombie’s are still in existence. Then again, it could take the post-apocalyptic stance and establish the world novelist Brooks created.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Movies UK, Max Brooks revealed that he does not believe the movie will be anything like the book he wrote. “Brooks says that the film, which stars Brad Pitt, will share the 2006 book’s name “and that’s it.” He goes on to say, “I cannot guarantee that the movie will be the book that they love. And I’m in no position to tell people to see this movie or not see it. If I’m asked I say: See the movie as a movie and judge it as a movie.” Brooks was not asked to write the screenplay for the film, nor to be involved in creating the story in development. If there is one thing in Hollywood that is certain its that when a book is optioned and adapted for the screen the likelihood that it will be anything like the book is slim, and that is being kind.
What do you think? Have you read “World War Z” and do you think its possible to create a faithful adaptation? Or are you willing to forgive the filmmakers and enjoy the movie adaptation as it is, regardless of changes and liberties they may take with the story?
I for one am going in with a fresh perspective and hoping for the best. Everyone loves a great zombie movie, and zombies at war with humans is a dream come true–now that they can actually move fast, or faster, than the rest of us.
Official Website: www.worldwarzmovie.com/.