Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Trouble on World War Z Set Leads to Script Rewrite

The "World War Z" script is undergoing yet another rewrite thanks to conflicting opinions and in-fighting on the set.

The original "World War Z" script was penned by J. Michael Straczynski (the creator of "Bablyon 5"), who stated that it was a faithful screen adaptation of Max Brooks' book, complete with the interview-based narrative structure. This was rewritten by Matthew Michael Carnahan into a PG-13 thriller/horror movie with  franchise potential. The biggest change to "World War Z" was making interviewer Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) a UN employee that is racing against time to stop a zombie pandemic from destroying the world.

Now, the "World War Z" script is being reworked by "Prometheus" co-writer Damon Lindelof, who was one of the co-creators of "Lost"-- a TV series whose name truly lived up to its reputation, as the plot line and character development was all over the place and it never found its way towards a satisfying ending, i.e. "Lost" was lost.

Lindelof helped turn "Prometheus" into a spin-off movie instead of strictly being an "Alien" prequel to allow for it to become a franchise in the future. This time, he is working on fixing the third act of the "World War Z" script, which may mean that he is changing the ending to allow "World War Z" to become a trilogy, or a it could end up being a stand-alone film. Thus far there hasn't been much word about what he is doing, other than "fixing" the ending.

Of course, changing the third act has created seven more weeks of shooting "World War Z" for Brad Pitt and co. in Budapest. 

But the script isn't the only thing that is forcing the production studio to re-shoot scenes. According to Get the Big Picture, director Marc Forster's inexperience with a big-budget production forced the production company to hire crew-members that Forster didn't want to work with, which has lead to serious in-fighting between film crew members and a director that is incapable of taking charge of the project.

To make things worse, cinematographer Robert Richardson (who worked on "Inglourious Basterds") didn't like how Forster was running things, so he attempted to take control of the entire project. When that didn't work, he tried to quit working on the movie. The end result: a movie with no singular vision, which is an utter catastrophe in the making.

Unfortunately for us ravenous "World War Z" fans, all of the in-fighting and rewriting has delayed the movie's release date by six months, pushing it from December 21, 2012 to June 21, 2013.  While a lot of people are bemoaning all of these changes, the script rewrite and additional shooting is the best thing to happen to the movie adaption of "World War Z" since it's inception.

After all, the writers that penned the scripts for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy were constantly tweaking and re-writing the scripts, even during shooting, and look at how well that turned out. 

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