Paramount’s adaptation of Max Brooks’ zombie novel World War Z may be getting a bullet to the head if the studio can’t find a co-financing partner. The film currently has Brad Pitt attached to star and produce with Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) on board to direct a script from Matthew Michael Carnahan (State of Play). However, Vulture reports that the $125 million price tag for what Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman describes as “a big, kick-ass giant movie” is too high for the studio to shoulder alone and that the studio is making an “eleventh-hour effort to court frequent Paramount co-financier David Ellison (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol)” and an unnamed investor.
Vulture also reports that the adaptation will be PG-13, which is sure to arouse the ire of the novel’s fans. Personally, I’m more concerned that Paramount wants to make an action movie even though Forster has yet to show he can competently direct action. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the novel.
“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]