Before you even get down to reading the ugly details, it’s time to face the facts: World War Z is in a really, really bad spot. But now that the Damon Lindelof-stamped cat is out of its bag, an extensive rundown in THR has cracked open what one person in the know was implored to call “[a] nightmare from top to bottom.”
From what I’m able to gather, this is a project that started out with a simple problem — going into production before many creative forces were ready or willing to do so — that only grew as things progressed and new issues sprouted because people still weren’t paying proper care. First and foremost among said issues is director Marc Forster, who was seemingly never trusted with action, scope, or the creative zombie elements; his point of entry were the “grounded” segments, and the furthest he could go was, sadly, the “grounded” portions.
So World War Z, was, right off the bat, “a seemingly headless enterprise” that couldn’t even settle on something as simple as the appearance of its zombies. Not that it’s fair to expect the man’s full creative control when Pitt and his frequent partner, Dede Gardner, had Andrew Dominik‘s Killing Them Softly in production, nor did the actor’s time home allow for him to look into what was really happening. What do you think would happen when a guy best known for Oscar-baiting dramas must handle a large crew forced to carry out a huge production?
Because that’s not enough, Paramount’s insistence on a December 2012 opening had left everyone on a tight schedule and with a short fuse; Pitt was frustrated with a sluggish movement, Robert Richardson requested the right to leave, and the crew members only brought on late-in-the-game didn’t know what their tasks really entrailed. Hard as it is to believe, World War Z‘s production plan sounds a whole lot like the ones laid out for a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel or Men in Black III.
If Paramount has their way, all this concern and hubbub will prove to be nothing more than an unfulfilled “what if” scenario. Adam Goodman, he of the studio, was unsurprisingly optimistic, saying that the film “can have a better ending” — all the more reason to go in for reshoots that THR labels, in a somewhat unsettling manner, as “complex.” Someone else said Z has “a great first 45 minutes, maybe even an hour.” To my ears, that sounds like another way of saying “half a movie is there.”
Ready or not, World War Z will open on June 21st, 2013.
Does the film sound even more dangerous after reading about its production?
Latest posts from The Film Stage