Brad Pitt’s next pic is a big budget adaptation of Max Brook’s World War Z, one of the best zombie novels out there. Unfortunately, the production has been plagued with troubles, including last minute, after shooting completed rewrites by two subsequent writers, after which they took 7-weeks to reshoot 50% of the movie. (Most entire movies shoot in 4 weeks.)
As Tony Stark would say, “historically, not awesome.”
In fact it’s such a bad sign, that World War Z could prove to be a genre killer, like the infamous Heaven’s Gate from 1980, a movie so bad that it killed Westerns as a viable mass-market genre. Believe it or not, Westerns were once as ubiquitous and popular as superhero movies are today. No more.
Hollywood is incredibly risk-averse (no studio exec wants to loose their salary, power, and perks), and even the most popular genre is one bad big-budget bomb away from becoming toxic and untouchable. World War Z’s budget is $125 million, a huge but not unheard of sum, and the budget sets the stakes for the studio and the genre.
If it flops, zombie movies and TV shows will have trouble being optioned and made. Hence, a “dead” genre.
Will it be a bomb of that magnitude? I hope not. I’m a big zombie fan, have been since I was a kid and saw Day of the Dead.
Nothing would please me more than a big-budget grand-slam zombie-movie hit. And nothing would irk me more than seeing my favorite undead genre being put to death.
See the leaked trailer here (until its taken down). Release date is June 21, 2013.
About the novel:
World War Z was one of the better zombie novels, if only for the notion that humans can and would improvise, adapt, and overcome the zombie menace. The war against the zombies is not hopeless. The book is not without notable flaws, including stifling political commentary and a thorough ignorance of how devastating artillery is to the human body, but it is a great read, nonetheless.