Earlier this month, we reported to you that the increasingly troubled World War Z production will be entering into six to seven weeks of reshoots to reshape the film’s second half, with rewrites provided by Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof. After much speculation, The Hollywood Reporter has delivered the inside scoop as to what went wrong with the production—a rushed production schedule, a weak action director, and a lack of any creative direction (apparently, no one can decide what the zombies should look like—seriously). Read the details below.
First off, sources have stated that World War Z was cleared for production before it was ready, thanks in part to star and WWZ producer Brad Pitt’s friend ship with Paramount CEO Brad Grey, which led to Paramount rushing the film to be on track for a December 2012 release date. THR points out that, as fallout from this decision, second unit director Simon Crane’s schedule was busted down from 60 days to 20.
Another issue is that of direction—Marc Forster is helming the project, and his only other experience with an entry into an action franchise is the much-maligned Quantum of Solace. It’s this inexperience with a large-scale action film that allegedly created major conflicts on the set between the director and the “seasoned talents” that had more or less been hired to help carry the action franchise weight that Forster could not. This led to procrastination on such major issues as what the zombies would look like. And if you can’t figure out what the zombies look like in a zombie movie, you’ve got problems.
Moreover, because of Forster’s inexperience, Paramount’s insistence that he focus on character and story issues while the experienced crew handle action and effects led to even more “confusion and dispute. The production has been described by an insider as “a nightmare from top to bottom,” with “nobody that steered the ship… when you get [a director] who can’t do it all…you get a struggle as to whose is the singular voice.”
So, can World War Z be saved? Lindelof’s 11th hour rescue may be enough to save the project as Paramount film group president Adam Goodman has stated that “Getting the ending correct is essential, and we are in that creative process. World War Z is a giant summer movie and we are confident it will be a global hit when it’s released June 2013.”
What do you think of the World War Z news?