It’s debatable whether or not Matthew Fox and Ed Harris were ever truly signed on to co-star in Marc Forster’s adaptation of Max Brooks’ World War Z, but whether they were on board or simply in negotiations, neither actor will be in the movie. Vulture reports that Fox won’t be in the flick due to a scheduling conflict with Rob Cohen’s I, Alex Cross (Fox is playing the film’s villain). It’s unknown why Harris opted out of WWZ, but now the production is scrambling to find two affordable but recognizable actors to fill the roles. Shooting is already underway and the producers are having actors read in both Los Angeles and London.
Hit the jump for a synopsis of the novel, which examines the world post-Zombie apocalypse. The film stars Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Anthony Mackie, Julia Levy-Boeken, and James Badge Dale. World War Z is slated to open next year.
“The end was near.” —Voices from the Zombie War
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?” [Amazon]