Fans will have to wait a few more months for the adaptation of Max Brooks’ zombie novel World War Z. After wrapping some time ago, the Brad Pitt horror vehicle is going back to Budapest for seven weeks of reshoots. The release date has already been pushed back from December 21, 2012 to June 21, 2013.
Reshoots are common, even on small movies (I got to be an extra in an independent zombie flick because they were doing reshoots—list of life goals, you’re now half as long), but seven weeks sounds like a long time. I’m no expert by any means, but that seems to indicate major problems that need to be fixed, large-scale additions, or a massive change to the story. To put this in perspective, John Carter also did significant reshoots, but even that film only had did 18 days, which evens out to be three weeks of work. So World War Z has more than twice that. In the end this may mean nothing, but it sounds ominous.
Then again, World War Z is a book of many stories. There is an overarching structure that tells the tale of the Zombie Wars, but this larger narrative is told in smaller, individual stories framed as interviews with survivors. There is no central protagonist, no characters that carry throughout the whole novel, and the way it’s structured means there are a lot of worthy stories to tell. When I first heard they were adapting Brooks’ book, my first thought was to wonder how they were going to construct the movie. Maybe after all was said and done they decided there was an element in the book that they couldn’t live without in the movie.
World War Z is directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace), and stars Brad Pitt, who also produced, Mireille Enos, Mathew Fox, and James Badge Dale. It joins a club of big-time movies that have seen their release dates delayed, including G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Keanu Reeves’ 47 Ronin.