Why WORLD WAR Z Is a Disaster Movie That’s Become a Disaster

by     Posted 2 years, 107 days ago

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Paramount almost didn’t make a PG-13 blockbuster adaptation of Max Brooks‘ zombie novel World War Z, and that would have probably been for the best.  The project, which was envisioned as the first part of a potential trilogy, would have been dead if the movie didn’t get a co-financier, but the studio eventually found partners in producer Graham King‘s GK Films and David Ellison‘s Skydance Productions.  Now they’re all paying the price as the production has spun wildly out of control, soared to more than a $170 million budget, requires five weeks of complex reshoots (others have put the number at 7-8 weeks), and brought in Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof to do re-writes on a picture that won’t be able to get back in front of cameras until September.

So how did production on World War Z go so horribly wrong?  Hit the jump for more.

Damon Lindelof to Rewrite WORLD WAR Z Ahead of Massive Reshoots

by     Posted 2 years, 112 days ago

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Writers are brought on to perform rewrites on projects all the time, but it’s not every day that a scribe is hired to rewrite a film’s script after the film has already been shot.  Such is the case with director Marc Forster’s (Quantum of Solace) zombie apocalypse pic World War Z.  The film is based on Max Brooks’ novel of the same name and stars Brad Pitt as a United Nations employee “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.”  Production took place last year in various European locales, with Paramount even considering a potential trilogy based off of the dailies they were seeing.

Back in March, it was announced that the film was vacating its December 2012 release date for the summer date of June 21st, 2013.  The move didn’t turn many heads, as most assumed that Paramount thought the zombie pic would do better business in the heart of the summer rather than in the midst of the crowded holiday season of 2012.  Heads did turn, however, when rumblings began that the film was set to undergo some massive 6-7 week reshoots later this year.  Hit the jump for more.

Marc Forster to Direct COWBOY NINJA VIKING from a Script by ZOMBIELAND Writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese

by     Posted 2 years, 213 days ago

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Despite not making very good movies, Marc Forster keeps getting signed for major projects.  He helmed the upcoming “adaptation” World War Z (the final film will probably have little resemblance to Max Brooks’ novel) and earlier this month we reported that he had signed on to direct the adaptation of David Fisher‘s non-fiction novel The War Magician.  Deadline is now reporting that Universal has signed Forster to direct an adaptation of the graphic novel Cowboy Ninja Viking for his next movie.  Zombieland screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese wrote the screenplay for Disney, but the studio “deemed it too edgy” and Universal picked it up in turnaround.  Naturally, Universal is intent on spawning Cowboy Ninja Viking into a franchise.

Hit the jump for details on what sounds like fanboy word salad.

Director Marc Forster Summons THE WAR MAGICIAN

by     Posted 2 years, 239 days ago

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Marc Forster will be moving from a war against zombies to a war against Nazis.  Variety reports that Forster has signed on to direct the adaptation of David Fisher‘s non-fiction novel The War Magician.  The story centers on real-life British magician Jasper Maskelyne, who was able to use his illusions (“tricks are what a whore does for money…or cocaine”) to aid the Allied forces by hiding locations like the Suez Canal, and creating phantom armies.  His inventions are still being used in modern warfare.

Part of me hopes that the story isn’t as good as it sounds since Forster has consistently underwhelmed me.  The only time he really impressed me was Stranger Than Fiction, and the last of that good will dried up when he decided an African child being blown up needed musical accompaniment to sell the drama in Machine Gun Preacher.  Maybe his upcoming film, World War Z, will be a turn in the right direction even though it’s a PG-13 zombie movie that will probably have almost no resemblance to the book.

WORLD WAR Z Has Trilogy Potential for Paramount

by     Posted 2 years, 269 days ago

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Assuming the world is still around on December 21st of this year, you may find me in the theater watching World War Z, the Paramount Pictures thriller starring Brad Pitt as a United Nations employee racing to stop a zombie pandemic. Loosely based on the novel by Max Brooks, World War Z was initially thought to be a one-shot adaptation, but it looks as if Paramount has other ideas. In an L.A. Times article about Pitt’s career, the actor discussed his work on the most expensive zombie movie in Hollywood. Director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) and the studio both view World War Z as a potential franchise for Pitt, eyeing a trilogy that blends the realism of the Jason Bourne franchise with the undead terror of The Walking Dead. Hit the jump for more.

SWAT Team Raided and Seized Weapons from WORLD WAR Z Set

by     Posted 2 years, 354 days ago

Now here’s something that doesn’t happen every day: a SWAT team raided the Budapest set of Marc Forster’s big-budget zombie pic World War Z earlier today and seized a number of weapons that were being used in the film. Police confiscated 85 fully-functional weapons (read: not prop guns) from a warehouse that was being used by the production. Most of the weapons were of the automatic, military-style assault variety which is a very big no-no to transport internationally without authorization. Hit the jump for the full story, including star Brad Pitt’s reaction.

TOP 5: Fantastic Fest Coverage, 50/50, MACHINE GUN PREACHER, GHOST RIDER 2, Tom Hiddleston Talks THE AVENGERS and THOR 2

by     Posted 2 years, 363 days ago

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With the fall film season now in full swing, I’m 100% ashamed to admit that I’ve yet to see two of my most anticipated fall films: Moneyball and 50/50. Now, I have every intention of ending this charade at some point this weekend but, for now, I hope you’ll give me a pass. If I’ve still yet to check them out when we meet here next week, I’ll understand if you choose to revoke my “mildly credible film blogger” credentials. In the meantime…

…In this week’s “Top 5″ installment, you can find all of our Fantastic Fest 2011 coverage. After that, interviews abound with the cast of Jonathan Levine’s dramedy 50/50, the cast, creators, and real-life inspiration for Machine Gun Preacher, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance director Brian Taylor, and Thor/The Avengers‘ Tom Hiddleston. Check out a brief recap and link to each after the jump.

Director Marc Forster Talks MACHINE GUN PREACHER and WORLD WAR Z

by     Posted 3 years, 1 day ago

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At this year’s Toronto Film Festival, I was able to speak with director Marc Forster about Machine Gun Preacher.   The movie is based on the real-life story of Sam Childers (played by Gerard Butler), a former drug-dealer who turned his life around and now devotes his time to saving kidnapped and orphaned children in Sudan.  The film also stars Michelle Monaghan and Michael Shannon.  It’s a hell of a story and one that I’m glad got told.  You can watch some clips here.

During the interview, Forster talked about why he decided to make Machine Gun Preacher, being the producer and director, the casting process, editing, karoke and what’s the last video game he played.  In addition, with Forster currently shooting World War Z with Brad Pitt, he talked about what drew him to that project and changing the book to make the movie.  Hit the jump to watch.

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

by     Posted 3 years, 10 days ago

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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.

Six Movie Clips from MACHINE GUN PREACHER

by     Posted 3 years, 15 days ago

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Six new clips from director Marc Forster’s Machine Gun Preacher are now online. Starring Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan and Michael Shannon, the “based on a true story” pic centers on Sam Childers (Butler), a once upon a time drug dealer who turns his life around and dedicates it to saving kidnapped and orphaned children in Sudan. Hit the jump to watch some new footage from the film. Machine Gun Preacher hits limited theaters in the U.S. on September 23rd and opens in the U.K. on November 18th.

First Clip from MACHINE GUN PREACHER Starring Gerard Butler

by     Posted 3 years, 22 days ago

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The first clip from the “based on a true story” actioner Machine Gun Preacher has landed online. Starring Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan and Michael Shannon, the film tells the story of Sam Childers (Butler), a converted drug-dealer who makes it his personal responsibility to save hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children in Sudan. Like I said when the trailer was released, I think Butler is in his element here (i.e. not starring opposite Katherine Heigl in a romantic comedy) and I’m looking forward to checking it out.

Watch the clip, which features some words of inspiration from Monaghan, after the jump. Directed by Marc Forster, Machine Gun Preacher will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival before hitting select U.S. theaters on September 23rd and the U.K. on November 18th. Also, with TIFF beginning tomorrow, be on the lookout for a slew of clips from films premiering at the festival.

Watch a Zombie Transformation Take Place in This WORLD WAR Z Set Video

by     Posted 3 years, 22 days ago

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A video from the set of director Marc Forster’s (Quantum of Solace) adaptation of Max Brooks’ World War Z has popped up online and it gives viewers a great look at what transforming into a zombie is all about (Hint: you become very flexible). Starring Brad Pitt, Bryan Cranston, Anthony Mackie, Matthew Fox, Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale, the film centers on a United Nations employee (Pitt) who trots around the globe in an attempt to stop a devastating pandemic.

Check out the set video after the jump. World War Z is set to open on December 21st, 2012.

Trailer for MACHINE GUN PREACHER Starring Gerard Butler

by     Posted 3 years, 42 days ago

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The theatrical trailer for director Marc Forster’s (Monster’s Ball and Quantum of Solace) Machine Gun Preacher has hit the interwebs. Starring Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, and Michael Shannon, the film tells the true story of Sam Childers (Butler), a former drug-dealer who goes on to save the lives of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned kids in Sudan. While I can’t claim to be Butler’s biggest fan, I have to say that he looks to be in his element in Preacher as a hardened guy who wants to do the right thing the only way he knows how: through violence. Add that in with the fact that I’ve enjoyed much of Forster’s previous work, and Machine Gun Preacher is a film I’m looking forward to watching.

Check out the trailer after the jump. Machine Gun Preacher will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month and opens theatrically on September 23rd.

Official WORLD WAR Z Synopsis Reveals Key Difference between the Movie and the Book

by     Posted 3 years, 50 days ago

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I accept that film adaptations of books will be different.  They have to be and they should be.  However, it’s wise to retain the core concept of the book otherwise the studio is just paying for the name and hoping they’ll sucker in soon-to-be-disappointed fans of the novel.  That appears to be the case with the adaptation of Max Brooks’ 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.  A mock documentary style would probably work best since the novel has multiple points of view.  I can understand the need to whittle down the movie to a single POV especially when that POV is from a character played by Brad Pitt.

But the official synopsis Paramount just released for the film shows that Paramount has gone far beyond that alteration.  Hit the jump for the synopsis and my reaction.  The movie also stars Mireille Enos, Anthony Mackie, James Badge Dale, and Bryan Cranston.  World War Z is due out December 21, 2012.

Paramount Releasing WORLD WAR Z on December 21, 2012

by     Posted 3 years, 51 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has set a release date for director Marc Forster’s (Quantum of Solace) upcoming zombie pic, World War Z. The adaptation of Max Brooks’ book will hit theaters on December 21, 2012. Starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Anthony Mackie, James Badge Dale, and possibly Bryan Cranston, the pic documents the aftermath of the inevitable zombie apocalypse from a number of perspectives including U.S. Government officials and mercenaries. The film is currently in production and, with its December 21st release date, is slated to go head-to-head with Disney’s Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, director Phillip Noyce’s (Salt) Hunter Killer, and Ang Lee’s (Brokeback Mountain) Life of Pi starring Tobey Maguire. For more on World War Z, hit the jump to check out a synopsis of the book.

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