World War Z


Stavros

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...Yeah, this doesn't feel like World War Z, they're taking a single narrative focus. I am disappoint. The book was an interview style recollection, not a Brad Pitt vehicle.

It does need the scale of a hollywood film but narratively it would have been better as an anthology series on cable. It is an impossible task to translate into a film but this is just something else entirely. The great thing about the book is the way that so many locations and personalities come up against the same problem and how radically different they are, from the shellshocked grunt (played by Mark Hamill in the audio) to the blind monk. It doesn't even look like Pitt is a journalist here, he's going to be the Will Smith Robert Neville, a scientist working on a cure. It's one of those plot elements that adds a deus ex machina for the end when the cure is inevitably found and the pursuit of it takes over the whole story. World War Z is about a journalist BEING A JOURNALIST, not an action hero.

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You pretty much hit exactly what I loved about the book, and why I'm so disappointed in that trailer. See, here's how you get a movie that still holds true to the book, but gives the audience their need for action.

Still have it set up as interviews. Initial establishing shots of the interviewees, first question or so clearly a video camera, maybe flashes back to that throughout the interview. But, once they get into the meat of it, have it be a flashback to the actual action, with the interview as a VO, and the cinematic focus on that character. Maybe found footage, or maybe just straight up cinematic filming. But this way, it still satisfies the book's original, awesome format, and balances the need for, y'know, actual action.

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Here's the thing. The original draft of the screenplay was written by JMS and got leaked a couple of years back. The main character of the piece was then a man traveling the world and interviewing people. It kinda broke all genres. That draft got thrown out for an action movie since that's more bankable than a more narrative based approach to a zombie apocalypse. I don't want to completely judge the movie before it comes out but just hearing about the production of it screams that it was a mess. The third act had to be completely rewritten and the producers have already said that they want to make a trilogy out of this. That alone makes me hope for a crash and burn scenario.

Contagion showed that you can make a bankable movie that thinks with the kind of focus needed for a project like this. It's opening the week after Man of Steel, the same weekend as Monsters University, and it would barely have any time in the sun before Pacific Rim is released two weeks later. If it remakes the 200 million that it cost, then I will be completely surprised.

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It's just lost the greatest aspect that appealed to me which was the intelligence. I'm so sad that the JMS version was ditched for this generic take. By taking it into predictably territory they've probably actually limited its boxoffice potential, no-one is going to think of this as must see outside of the weirdos who think Resident Evil is a work of genius.

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To do the novel right, it would need to be a mockumentary. Or faux-documentary. The book is a bloody oral history. I liked everything about that trailer except the zombies. They look like a CGI clusterfuck.

Odd that the movie's been in production basically as long as I've been doing Dread Media and they still don't have slick CGI.

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