Vulture are reporting that Paramount's movie adaptation of the Max Brooks (yes, we all know he's Mel Brooks' son) novel World War Z, about a reporter researching world events leading up to and during a Zombie Apocalypse and through to its aftermath, may be about to receive a bullet to the brain. This news comes after At The Mountains of Madness was canned at Universal and for those die hard Dune fans - a promising adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel put to death already by Paramount this month... March is proving to be rather unkind to sci-fi and horror aficionados. Adapted by Matthew Carnahan (Lions for Lambs, State of Play) with Marc Forster (Quantum Of Solace) attached to direct and none other than Brad Pitt in place to lead and produce, it seems that when it comes to dishing out the dough on a horror flick (WWZ is said to be budgeted in the region of $125 million to be fully realised), even when one of the biggest stars in town is involved, the big studios get very nervous indeed. Tom Cruise & Brad Pitt projects deemed not marketable enough? Sign of the times guys.... What makes WWZ so expensive is the huge scale of the novel's set pieces, which are told by survivors recounting their stories and experiences to the reporter. Armies of the undead battling against the military, sea based action and tales of zombie encounters from around the globe would translate a production size of four zombie movies in one, so it is easy to see why such a large figure has been slapped on the production. And why the studio is nervous. However, all is not lost just yet. Paramount are said to be chasing previous partner and co-financier, twenty-something billionaire David Ellison, who in funding Mission: Impossible IV and Top Gun II and is signing large cheques away, money he can afford to lose on projects he wants to see made plus another unnamed investor to share the heavy burden of bringing this most expensive zombie holocaust, albeit a PG13 one, to the screen. Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman said this week;
"We're really committed to making a big, kick-ass giant movie with Marc Forster and Brad Pitt."However if Ellison doesn't bite and if there is no further movement in the next couple of months from elsewhere, then expect Paramount to drop their interest and let the project shamble on until another studio fancies taking a stab.