Pulse-Pounding Sci-Fi Epic Redefines Zombies On Streaming

By Robert Scucci | Published

Once 28 Days Later and Zack Snyder’s 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake reinvigorated the zombie genre, movie studios wanted in on the action. By 2010, series like The Walking Dead were making waves on television, and countless movies in the genre came out over a very short amount of time. One of the more impactful films to come out during this legendary run of zombie movies was 2013’s World War Z, starring Brad Pitt.

World War Z Is Adapted From A Book

World War Z is loosely based on the Max Brooks novel of the same name. The novel, which was a sequel to The Zombie Survival Guide, serves as an oral history of a global zombie outbreak caused by the Solanum virus. Presented as a compilation of scattered narratives and interviews from citizens around the world, World War Z is a harrowing representation of how different government bodies communicate to their citizens through the media during times of global crisis.

Brad Pitt Searches For The Cure

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The World War Z film takes a more linear approach with its storytelling, and follows Brad Pitt’s Gerald “Gerry” Lane in his quest to find a cure that will end the zombie apocalypse. Using Brooks’ novel as inspiration for the outbreak itself, the film’s premise is radically different from the novel, as it centers on a single family’s struggle from start to finish.

While this recounting of events isn’t necessarily as violent as a George A. Romero zombie flick, the global implications are expertly captured as virologists struggle to find a cure while society becomes increasingly overrun by the infected.


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Though a non-linear narrative could have worked out just fine, it’s easy to see why World War Z’s screenplay needed a sense of urgency that would be difficult to capture if it followed the novel’s narrative structure. In the film, Gerry travels across continents and witnesses society’s collapse in real-time. Unlike other zombie movies that focus primarily in a single setting, World War Z has a much wider scope, thematically speaking.

World War Z Earned Blockbuster Status

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Upon its theatrical release World War Z was a massive success, earning $540 million against a budget of $190 million. On the critical front, the film garnered a 66 percent critical score against an audience score of 72 percent. One of the biggest criticisms World War Z faced was how far its plot deviated from the source material. Despite the film’s creative liberties, those who celebrate the movie maintain that it’s still a smart, fast-paced thriller that places Brad Pitt in the middle of a zombie outbreak.

Stream World War Z On Paramount+

And it’s worth noting that although World War Z is wildly different from the source material that inspired it, it’s not necessarily a case of naysayers simply saying that the book was better. You really can’t compare the two, and it comes with strong recommendations that you experience the storytelling through both mediums. On the same token, you don’t need to read the book to enjoy the film.

World War Z is a worthy addition to the genre, and is absolutely deserving of your attention if you’ve been bitten by the zombie bug that so many of us succumbed to at the height of its popularity. If you’re interested in seeing how Brad Pitt handles himself in the face of a global disaster, all you have to do is fire up Paramount+ to stream it.