World War Z is having problems, to put it mildly. The adaptation of Max Brooks’ best-selling zombie novel was already in the can when Paramount scheduled seven weeks of pricey reshoots. That is never a good sign.
Not stopping with reshoots, the studio went out and said, “hey, high-priced writer Damon Lindelof, want to rewrite the last third of our movie for us?” As it turns out, Lindelof, who recently worked on Prometheus and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel, doesn’t have time to write the script, and his fellow Lost writer Drew Goddard will handle the bulk of the rewrites.
According to Deadline, Lindelof “cracked a potential new ending of the film,” before handing the duties off to Goddard. This is all well and good. Goddard’s directorial debut, Cabin in the Woods, which he co-wrote with Joss Whedon, is one of the most inventive movies of the year. Wouldn’t you love to see him take a crack at this one?
There might be one more catch, however. Would you expect anything else considering the problems World War Z has already encountered? Because he, too, is also super busy, there’s a chance Goddard may not have time to fit the project into his schedule. In this case, Deadline speculates that a third high-profile writer, Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), could take over finishing the script.
Even given all of the problems, there is still hope for World War Z. The Marc Forster-directed film has a solid cast, headlined by Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Matthew Fox, and more. And these script troubles aren’t that surprising. As written, World War Z doesn’t tell a linear story. Framed as an interviewer travelling around, interviewing survivors of the zombie apocalypse, it is constructed from a series of vignettes that come together to form a larger narrative. There is, however, no through story, no characters that you follow from beginning to end through the action, and little that ties the tales together. The interviewer is the only constant, and he simply tells the stories of others without participating. Reading the book, it feels almost unfilmable.
But, there’s a bit but, if they do manage to pull World War Z out of the flames, and make it not suck, it could be one hell of a zombie movie.