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World War Z Director Marc Forster Will Not Return For Round Two

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marc-forster-brad-pitt-world-war-zWorld War Z grossed $539.4 million worldwide to become the surprise box office hit this past summer. From all the reports about third act script re-writes and seven weeks worth of re-shoots, Brad Pitt’s zombie action movie turned out to be a halfway decent film. Considering that it could’ve been worse, Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard’s rewrites seemed to pull the film out of a tailspin in the eleventh hour. Although World War Z was a big success, at least one key player is not sticking around for round two.

According to THR, director Marc Forster will not helm the sequel that’s already in development. Forster and the film’s producer and star Brad Pitt butted heads during production, to the point where they refused to speak to each other during the last few weeks. Executives from Paramount had to come in and moderate discussions between the two. Given that, it’s not surprising that Forster declined to return.

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World War Z’s Every Sin Collected In One Convenient Video

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It’s safe to say that many, if not most of us, expected World War Z to be a raging train wreck when it hit theaters this past summer. News of extensive reshoots had made headlines for months, and multiple high profile writers were brought in to completely revamp the final act. Neither of those is ever taken as a good sign, and we were worried. And weren’t we all surprised when the adaptation of Max Brooks’ best selling zombie novel actually turned out to be a pretty damn good movie. I was as surprised as anyone. Though it’s a fun horror action flick, World War Zis far, far from perfect. Just in case you had deluded yourself into thinking it was a flawless gem, the good people at Cinema Sins are back with the latest in their “Everything Wrong With…” series, with “Everything Wrong With World War Z In Six Minutes Or Less.”

The pace of World War Z is really what drives the film along. As Brad Pitt’s UN worker Gerry Lane flits from place to place across the globe, so do you the viewer. You’re constantly on the move, never really slowing down for more than a brief moment or two between zombie attacks, and because of this perpetual motion, you let some pretty big faux pas slide.

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Minimalist Book Covers For 2001, Dune, Neuromancer, And More

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2001The whole “minimalist art” thing has been applied to pop culture and science fiction quite a bit in recent years. There’s just something appealing about trying to break down an object or idea into its most basic components, to try and evoke its essence with as few elements as possible. We’ve seen the concept applied to iconic sci-fi weapons, famous scientists, and even the Doctor’s sonic screwdrivers. The latest spin on the idea: minimalist book cover designs for some of the genre’s most noteworthy tomes.

The minimalist designs are courtesy of graphic designer Nicolas Beaujouan, and are part of his so-called “Ultimate Geek Selection.” Up above we’ve got the ominous electronic eye of HAL 9000 from Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey — a pretty obvious choice, but a good one nonetheless. Some of Beaujouan’s other choices are similarly easy to grasp, such as H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness or Max Brooks’ World War Z.

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World War Z Gets Its Very Own Honest Trailer

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Now that’s a way to start out a video: “In a world where zombies have already infected every facet of pop culture, comes…another zombie movie, but this time, it’s got Brad Pitt.” Building up towards Marc Forster’s adaptation of Max Brooks’ best selling tale of the zombie wars, World War Z, that’s the feeling you got. You felt like the production was bouncing up and down waving and yelling, “we’ve Brad Pitt, we’ve got Brad Pitt,” and not offering much more. The fact that the movie is as good at it is was a surprise to many fans and critics, especially considering the highly publicized production problems, but there were big concerns going in. Now the latest Honest Trailer takes aim at the cinematic look at a pandemic plague of zombies.

This video, the latest in the series from Screen Junkies, is a damn good time. I liked the movie—which hit the home video market this week—but there are definite problems. Perhaps the biggest, and the least forgivable, is that the movie has absolutely nothing to do with the source material except the name. Brooks’ novel is an inventive take on the genre, framed as a journalist travelling the globe after the end of the zombie war, collecting survivor’s stories. In the movie, Brad Pitt hops around the globe, trying to figure out how to stop the spread of the plague. There’s even a list of all of the awesome things from the book that aren’t in the movie. As they say, it really is a waste of an incredible source.

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World War Z Director On The Movie’s Original Ending

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world war zWhen a movie goes into re-shoots late into production, it’s usually a sign that the film is in trouble. That trouble is doubled when a movie has to completely rewrite its final act and ending before it goes into those re-shoots. Luckily, that wasn’t the case with World War Z. While the film isn’t perfect, it’s serviceable considering the film’s production problems. In fact, one can make the case that re-shoots and rewrites were the best thing for World War Z.

In a column on Movies.com, director Marc Forster breaks down why World War Z‘s ending wasn’t working and how they tried to fix the problem. If you’re not aware, the last third of World War Z was completely different than what Forster and Brad Pitt conceived in the film’s original screenplay. Basically, everything from when Brad Pitt’s Gerry Lane and Israeli soldier Segen crash land in Wales after the zombie epidemic reached Jerusalem is new material they had to shoot before the film’s release in June. Originally, the pair landed in Russia were then forced to fight the rising numbers of zombies in giant battle sequences. Forster explains the change:

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World War Z Invades Your Home With Swarming Zombies: This Week In Science Fiction

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WWZWorld War Z was one of the biggest surprises of the summer, proving damn near everybody wrong and taking in half a billion dollars worldwide. The movie that many predicted to be an utter train wreck was such an unexpected success that there’s a very real possibility that it will get a sequel a few years down the line. It definitely deviated from Max Brooks’ brilliant novel, but it’s still up for debate whether it succeeded on its own strengths or not. And who knows, maybe the sequel will be more faithful to the spirit and tone of Brooks’ work.

Either way, World War Z comes to 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday. The discs will include an unrated cut of the movie, along with the following bonus features:

  • “Origins” — The filmmakers discuss collaborating with renowned actor/producer Brad Pitt to create a zombie film the likes of which have never been seen.
  • “Looking to Science” — Explore the scientific realities of zombie behavior in nature and learn more about zombies in literature and film.
  • WWZ: Production
  • “Outbreak” — Go on set with Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster for a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s breathtaking first attack in Philadelphia.
  • “The Journey Begins” — Delve deeper into Gerry’s fight for survival during the dramatic escape in South Korea.
  • “Behind the Wall” — Explore the epic scene in Jerusalem and discover the incredible logistics of creating the elaborate stunts and crowd sequences.
  • “Camouflage” — Experience the final confrontation between Gerry and the zombies and discover the phenomenal scope of the film’s production.

Here’s what’s new This Week in Science Fiction!