movie news: First trailer for Brad Pitt’s World War Z

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movie news: First trailer for Brad Pitt’s World War Z

It has been in development hell for quite a while now but it’s finally here.

Well… the trailer is finally here.

Err… the trailer for World War Z that is.

World War Z, poster, Brad PittBit of background. Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B originally bought the rights to the Max Brooks novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War in 2007, a year after it was first published. It had been subject to a bidding war with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company so I guess we can only wonder what might of been…

In any case, things started well. J. Michael Straczynski was hired to adapt Brooks’ novel. I’m a huge fan of Straczynski, Babylon 5 is one of my favourite TV shows. I’m not sure there’s more to be said there. We were all encouraged when an early draft of the script was seen by Ain’t It Cool news and they proclaimed it as “genre-defining piece of work” and compared it to Children of Men. Children of Men is one of my top 10 films of the decade… so… all good right?

Not quite.

JMS’s screenplay apparently didn’t work for some and in March 2009 Marc Forster, who had since signed on to direct it, revealed that the script was still in development and much work was still needed. Cue a 2 year delay to allow Matthew Michael Carnahan (Yes, brother of Joe Carnahan) to work on it.

Then a further delay when there were issues around financing.

Shooting finally started in the summer of 2011… but more delays soon ensued. Including a misunderstanding with the Hungarian Anti Terrorism unit. Then in March the release date was pushed back by 6 months to June 2013, ostensibly to avoid Jack Reacher but two months later it was announced that there would be 7 weeks of re-shoots and that Damon Lindelof had been brought in to do more work on the script. Then later Drew Goddard. Though he swears his role is only minor.

Straczynski isn’t even on the IMDb credits any more.

Something tells me that this may not turn out to be the genre-defining work that Ain’t It Cool was so excited about. Obviously all we can say is that there were rumours… but I suspect that a studio making a film costing $125 million dollars that stars Brad Pitt might not be looking for a genre defining piece of work. They might want to make money.

As a result, I’m not sure if there’s that much to look forward to on this. Neither Carnahan nor Lindelof’s writing credits are particularly illustrious though I do have respect for Goddard’s work on Buffy, Cloverfield and The Cabin in the Woods.

It’s fair to say that adapting Brooks’ original novel was going to be a tough one. The book itself lacks a central narrative and is instead told through a series of accounts collected by an agent of the “United Nations Postwar Commission” and published some 10 years after the 10 year Zombie War. I haven’t read it myself but reports are that… it’s a bunch of reports. But that it somehow works. It doesn’t sound like we’re going to find out exactly how by watching this film.

All that said, who am I to turn down a big budget zombie film? I’m not going to give away the trailer but this looks like a new kind of zombie to me. I love this idea that movie zombies are evolving. I’m not emotionally connected to the zoooombies of 28 Days Later… or the somnambulist types of George A. Romero so bring on this new breed I say.

Also, it’s been shot by the three-time Oscar winning cinematographer Robert Richardson. So that’s nice.

Anyone excited about this? Let me know what you think in the comments.

World War Z is due to be in Irish, UK and US cinemas on 21 Jun 2013.

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