Paramount Brings In Damon Lindelof To Rewrite World War Z

By Brent McKnight | Published

We knew the Marc Foster-directed adaptation of Max Brooks’ zombie novel World War Z was having problems. Seven weeks worth of reshoots kind of problems. Things might be even worse that people feared, and Paramount is bringing in Prometheus scribe Damon Lindelof in an attempt to right the ship.

The Lost co-creator will focus primarily on the third act of the script, including the conclusion. The release for World War Z has already been pushed back from the holiday season of this year to June 21st, 2013, and the production hopes to get started with the reshoots by September or October.

There is no word on what the specific issues with the script are, but that’s honestly not surprising to hear. The structure of Brooks’ novel isn’t one that lends itself to being easily filmed. Framed as a series of interviews with survivors of the Zombie Wars, World War Z isn’t a traditional narrative. A series of vignettes do come together to form a larger arc about destruction and rebuilding, but there is no central protagonist, the only recurring character is the interviewer (who doesn’t have much of a presence), and in a lot of ways the book is more like a collection of thematically connected short stories than a novel.

Whatever the issues, they must be damn serious for Paramount to resort to such drastic measures. That’s not the sign of a healthy production. The studio has already made a big time investment in the picture, and Lindelof and seven more weeks of filming don’t come cheap.

World War Z stars Brad Pitt, who is also a producer, Mireille Enos, Anthony Mackie, and James Badge Dale.