Behind the scenes problems with World War Z exposed

News Simon Brew
1 May 2013 - 06:32

A candid piece at Vanity Fair lifts the lid on the issues that have faced the World War Z movie...

Well, this never happens. It's little secret that the movie take on Max Brooks' World War Z hasn't had the easiest journey to the screen. There have been high profile reshoots, stories of a whole new ending being written, and a lengthy release delay. Furthermore, there's a promotional campaign that seems to be forgetting that zombies are a major part of the movie.

And now? A piece in Vanity Fair has shone a light on just how tricky things have been behind the scenes. It's rare to have this exposed in advance of a movie's release, but nontheless it suggests there have been very sizeable problems.

Quoting Damon Lindelof, the piece recalls Brad Pitt explaining that "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". Lindelof was asked to watch an edit "and tell us how to get where we need to get".

The original cut that Lindelof saw featured an ending that was "abrupt and incoherent" and was "missing a large chunk of footage".

The article talks about cost overruns and such like, but also touches on what happened when the first director's cut was screened, and everyone realised that they were in trouble. Hence, Lindelof got the call, and he presented two options: rewriting bits of material, or "throwing out the entire Russian battle scene - or about 12 minutes of footage - and crafting a new ending".

To his surprise, they picked the latter, resulting in World War Z needing another 30 to 40 minutes of  material to be filmed.

World War Z has, of course, been rated PG-13 in the US, leaving Paramount with a $200m zombie movie that may, on paper, have isolated both the mass audience, and the core fans of both zombies and Brooks' book. Or, it may just have pulled this one round. World War Z is a film we're as intrigued as any to watch this summer, and it should be said that films with troubled productions have turned out well in the past.

That said, the Vanity Fair report is usually the kind of thing that doesn't slip out until a year after release, not two months beforehand. You can read more on it all right here.

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