Marc Forster’s directed adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel “World War Z“, which was recently pushed back to next summer after originally supposed to be hitting this year, is gearing up for SEVEN weeks of re-shooting in September/October. That’s over a month and a half of filming, a highly unprecedented re-shoot which no doubt is costing Paramount a fortune on their already ambitious, $150 million budgeted apocalyptic zombie tale.
No Hollywood production has seven weeks worth of re-shooting without huge problems and you have to figure a major overhaul is in the works with Paramount spending MORE money on a very non-Hollywood blockbuster. The length of this re-shoot could be as much as the second half of a movie that has already been shot getting a makeover.
And now with “Prometheus” about to tear up the box office in the US, Paramount have made an emergency telephone call to screenwriter Damon Lindelof to figure out a third act re-write and an ending that can save their picture. As Lindelof will likely carry a huge fee at this stage… Paramount are clearly, seriously concerned about “World War Z“.
Brad Pitt leads the film that was originally shot last summer as the UN researcher who travels the globe interviewing survivors to chronicle how humanity survived a zombie apocalypse. The Killing’s Mireille Enos plays Pitt’s wife. Bryan Cranston, Matthew Fox and James Badge Dale are the supporting players.
If they are hoping to make the ending of “World War Z” clear and concise, then we fear they haven’t seen “Prometheus”, or listened to the fan backlash against the frustrating obscurity of sub-plots in Ridley Scott’s movie. Though we all know there is a large legion of movie execs who simply hire based on current trends and Lindelof and Prometheus are trending more than most right now. This may even be why they originally greenlit the film in the first place given the success of The Walking Dead TV show on AMC and the $321 million success of the Pitt led “Inglourious Bastards” a few years ago.
“World War Z” is the second movie Paramount have pushed back for re-shoots after another blockbuster, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” was similarly pushed back to next spring to fix problems, convert it to 3D and shoot more scenes with star Channing Tatum. After the epic failures of “John Carter” and “Battleship” this summer, studios are getting nervous about expensive tentpoles that have problems.
Matthew Michael Carnahan (State of Play) wrote the original screenplay the movie was based on and for years Paramount weren’t really sure what property they owned here and how the source material could be made into a movie. We imagine when Brad Pitt signed the dotted line and he had faith in bringing a return on $150 million… they signed on and took a risk… but boy, does this one look like it is setting up for a disaster.