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Cabin In The Woods’ Drew Goddard Tapped To Finish World War Z, For Now

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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.

Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard

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Paramount Brings In Damon Lindelof To Rewrite World War Z

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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.

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World War Z Goes Back For Seven Weeks Of Reshoots

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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.

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World War Z To Be A Trilogy

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Brad Pitt is an actor that most people dismiss. That is until you watch him pull off an amazing performance and you’re once again reminded that the nearly 50 year old heartthrob is capable of great dramatic depth. The litany of iconic performances and characters that this man has portrayed are among the best in modern film.

In an interview with the LA Times the absence of a big “popcorn” franchise for the actor is brought up with the possibility that the Marc Forster (Quantum Of Solace) helmed World War Z could serve as the last piece to that puzzle. Not that Pitt needs to be the marquee player of an epic franchise, but it’d be nice when other talented guys like Matt Damon and Christian Bale are already moving on from their respective huge event franchises.