VF Goes Inside Pitt's 'Epic Battle' To Make 'WWZ'
By JACKIE WILLIS
April 30, 2013
Even A-listers like Brad Pitt do not always find it easy to follow through on a vision. Case in point, the actor's new zombie thriller World War Z. Vanity Fair magazine takes readers inside the issues of Pitt's upcoming film and how he and his team were able to overcome the obstacles, and take the story to the big screen.
The book-turned-movie, out June 21, follows United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt) as he traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to decimate humanity itself. "[Pitt] took me through how excited he was when he read the book, what was exciting for him, the geopolitical aspect of it," screenwriter Damon Lindelof told Vanity Fair contributor Laura M. Holson of Pitt's initial excitement to make the movie.
So, where did the problems arise? Lindelof explains that they put the horse before the cart, so to speak. "We started shooting the thing before we locked down how it was going to end up, and it didn't turn out the way we wanted it to."
According to the June issue of VF, there was 40 minutes of re-writing and shooting on the film to make the ending, thus causing the budget to rise to about $200 million. "It was, like, 'Wow. The ending of our movie doesn't work,'" Paramount executive Marc Evans admits thinking at the time. "I believed in that moment we needed to reshoot the movie. ...We were going to have long, significant discussions to fix this."
Their answer to their ending may surprise you. Lindelof recalls, "There are two roads to go down here. Is there material that can be written to make that stuff work better? To have it make sense? To have it have emotional stakes? And plot logic and all that? And Road Two, which I think is the long-shot road, is that everything changes after Brad leaves Israel. That meant throwing out the entire Russian battle scene -- or about 12 minutes of footage -- and crafting a new ending."
They chose "Road Two." Lindelof adds, "So when I gave them those two roads and they sounded more interested in Road B (which meant shooting an additional 30-40 minutes of the movie). I was like, 'To be honest with you, good luck selling that to Paramount.'"
Given all the drama surrounding the ending of World War Z, will you be seeing Pitt's new film when it hits theaters this summer? Check out the trailer below and let us know.