You knew there was trouble when Paramount moved “World War Z” out of its December 2012 release date to June 2013. On one hand, it would be easy to say, “Of course they moved it, a zombie movie during the holidays makes no sense!” But I don’t think Paramount ever even bothered trying to come up with a cover story. It was always like, “Um, yeah, we’re moving it. Yes. That’s it.” The follow up buzz, of course, was “It’s a mess.”
So re-shoots have been a given, but they’re not just re-shooting because they don’t like the way a certain scene is lit, or because the extras costumes aren’t good enough. It’s because the movie isn’t working. Thus enters Damon Lindelof, current king of the sci-fi movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lindelof will do the rewrites of the script for what has been rumored to be seven weeks of new filming, starting in September or October. Seven weeks, incidentally, is enough time to shoot a whole film, though they are said to focusing on the film’s “troubled third act.”
The Max Brooks novel was told from the POV of a UN inspector who interviews people ten years after a worldwide zombie war in order to find out what happened and what went wrong. It seems fairly straightforward movie material, right? Especially with Brad Pitt in the lead. Yet somehow they managed to mess it up. I had heard that they had made some significant changes from the novel in order to make it more sequel friendly. Maybe they created their own disaster with that…
Anyway, Lindelof is the man with the plan right now. He wrote “Prometheus,” which is on its way to becoming a hit this weekend and co-wrote the upcoming “Star Trek” sequel. He also co-wrote “Cowboys & Aliens,” but would probably prefer that you forget that and just remember that he was one of the writers of “Lost.” Can he save this one?
Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale and Anthony Mackie are also in the “World War Z” cast. Marc Forster is directing.