World War Z production suffers third act failure

Posted by CB Droege

The Brad Pitt-led Zombie apocalypse thriller already had to spend 7 weeks reshooting the ending because director Marc Forster wasn’t happy with the ending. Now it seems to be a lot worse.

Taking a few extra weeks to reshoot a few scenes is not terribly abnormal in Hollywood, with studios often factoring in some extra time to the release schedule for just such inevitabilities. As such, it wasn’t really news-worthy when Forster desided to reshoot a few scenes of Warld War Z, but now the director famed for Monster’s Ball in 2001 has hired Prometheus and LOST writer Damon Lindelof to completely rewrite the film’s conclusion.

Filming will start again late fall 2012, making it impossible to meet the original release date in mid-December. This is a huge blow to the project, but not as bad as it could have been. To be sure, the studio hasn't yet begun promoting the film, so it wouldn't have lost a lot of funds on useless advertisements. Unfortunately, this type of delay has been known to kill a film entirely in the past, so if you’ve been looking forward to it, steel yourself for potential disapointment.

The choice to hire Lindelof to write an ending for your film seems ironic to me, considering the two works he’s best known for have terrible endings, both being very passive climaxes with unsatisfying and pretentious conclusions (not that he worked alone on either project).

The film is already a great challenge, considering the book it’s based on. Written by Max Brooks, World War Z covers a lot of ground in a story which is not exactly chronological, and has a lot of gaps, appearing as the personal account of one journalist covering the end of the world. It’s tough not just becuase of the cronology and format, however, the protagonist of the book is also very removed from the action, reporting on it much more than performing any ctual action. That has to be changed to make a good film, so it’ll be interesting to see where the story has been taken, if it survives this rewrite.

World War Z’s new release date is June 21, 2013.