Director Marc Forster Talks WORLD WAR Z Changes and What Drew Him to the Project

     September 19, 2011

Marc Forster WORLD WAR Z interview slice

At this year’s Toronto Film Festival, I was able to talk with the cast and director Marc Forster about Machine Gun Preacher.  With the movie opening in limited release this weekend (it expands next week), you can expect our video interviews in the next few days.  However, with Forster currently shooting World War Z with Brad Pitt, I used some of my time to ask why he decided to change the story of the book for the movie.  He said:

“You want to capture the spirit of the book, but at the same time, you have to create your own narrative for the film.  There are a lot of things from the book that we are trying to incorporate into the film.  It’s a tricky balance.”

He also talked about what drew him to the project and goes into more detail about World War Z.  Hit the jump to watch.

world-war-z-movie-set-photo-brad-pitt-02If you haven’t read World War Z, the plot of the book takes place after a zombie apocalypse and has a researcher for the UN going around the world to determine the cause.  However, Paramount recently released the synopsis for the movie, and it’s a lot different than the book:

“The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who 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.”

While I’m sure fans of the book are up in arms, I understand the need for changing things to make a movie.  Also, I always try and keep an open mind until I see the finished project.  Saying that, this is a pretty drastic change, so I hope they know what they’re doing.  World War Z opens December 21, 2012.  Here’s Forster.  Look for the full interview soon.

Marc Forster

  • What drew him to World War Z
  • :55 – Talks about changing the book to make a movie



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  • Eric Nixon

    “You want to capture the spirit of the book, but at the same time, you have to create your own narrative for the film…” NO. You don’t. The book is why you’re making the film in the first place.

    • Angmal

      A book is not a film, they have a different grammar, they’re a different medium. A literal-minded approach turns a filmmaker into a translater; why bother to make a movie if you’re not free to express yourself? Seems like a lot of effort for little reward. It’s refreshing to see a director who doesn’t seem to live in fear of what the internet thinks – fanboys have too much clout these days, to the detriment of the movies themselves. That said, Forster totally cocked up Quantum Of Solace, so I don’t have a great deal of faith in him as a director, and in addition to that, I know what it feels like when something you love is adapted and it veers so far away from what you love about that book/TV show/comic… So I understand why fans would be annoyed.

      • Steve Rudzinski

        Right except MOST directors don’t care what people think. When taking on a pre-existing media they care more about telling their OWN story than properly adapting it.

        Bugs the hell out of me. If he wants to tell his own narrative story, that’s fine. Don’t call it World War Z.

  • grittymcgritterson

    Shame. This movie is going to take the safe rout. If it would just BE like the book it would be so much more edgy and sexy; A series of document clips that start to piece together the events. Not even in order. one of the best parts of the books is the big picture being put together by smaller stories, each complimenting the other one with tidbits of info you previously didnt have. It couldve been groundbreaking. sigh….

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  • Martin Evans

    I’ve read the first two drafts of the script and seen the YouTube footage of the fast zombies (Note that they’re faster than other fast zombies) so I consider myself pretty well informed on this subject.
    World War Z is getting the same callous despicable Hollywood treatment that other books like Starship Troopers and I, Robot have gotten.
    There’s nothing left of the book except the title. There’s battle scenes and Brad Pitt waving his manhood at the audience. and that’s about it.
    The only way I will see this train wreck will be if I can kick Marc Forster squarely in the balls on my way into the theater.

  • Vito Goesdown

    Hollywood is dead. Remake after remake, no original ideas. And when they get their hands on an original idea, they change things that made the idea great for no reason. The problem with the zombie movies now is that we want a huge worldwide view of the outbreak, struggle to survive and possible resolution. Budgets, political correctness and narrow minded corporate thinking will never let that happen. Personally, i think the only way we will get a decent movie or series of movies about the zombie apocolypse is through animation. And stop with the wind sprint running zombies! Romero did it right! Zombies are a volume horror. Slow moving, relentess groups of hungry, shuffling walking dead that don’t tire, are not ever going to stop until your flesh fills their mouths is what makes zombies horrifying. It’s just sad.

  • lukasz

    what a bunch of idiotic fanboys wait til the movie is out then blame hollywood for the pointless remakes.

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