Zombie films

Brooks: WWZ movie is not the book

It’s no secret that things have been bumpy almost from the start for Brad Pitt’s zombie blockbuster “World War Z.”

It doesn’t appear that things are getting any easier as the film heads toward its release. The shooting of the film, which relies on CGI for a new type of “swarming” zombie, was plagued with delays and reshoots. It’s been rumored that Pitt, who both stars in and produced the film, was feuding with director Marc Forster to the point where they only spoke through notes and intermediaries.

Now, when the film should be reaching critical hype level, author Max Brooks (who wrote the World War Z novel) has essentially given fans of his work warning that what they’re going to see on the screen has only the title in common with the book.

“Pretty much that’s all it’s got,” he said in an interview with Mansfield University. “It’s ‘World War Z’ in name only.”

Brooks, who grew up in Hollywood, isn’t disillusioned by the turn of events, however. Describing it as “standard operating procedure,” he said he hadn’t expected to be involved with the film project after deciding which studio would get the rights to development.

Brooks was offered a chance to read the script, but only after cameras were rolling.

“I was not invited during any of the creative process,” he said. “I wasn’t asked to be a writer, producer, consultant.”

After receiving the invite, Brooks declined saying there would be no point. The script he said, would likely change and, in time, he was proven right.

Knowing ahead of time what the case would likely be gave Brooks time to prepare, but he said he feels sorry for die hard fans of his book.

“There’s a lot of college kids who have been waiting to see the Battle of Yonkers since they were in junior high,” he said. “I can’t guarantee it’s going to be in there.”

Brooks said if he gets to see an advance screening of the film, he will let his fans know his opinion. In the meantime his advice is to “see the movie for the movie.”

Meanwhile the advertising team behind the film has decided to go with in “stealth mode.” Sure there are World War Z trailers, but their appearance is limited in comparison to other summer blockbusters. Instead we get Crisis Zero (www.crisiszero.com) which features a countdown to the films release and an invitation to join the Crisis Zero Facebook and Twitter pages. There’s also a Public Service Announcement video warning of strange events in Asia that will have global implications.

Following through to the YouTube account that hosts the video, there are others to watch. Browsing through them, they actually seem almost more compelling than some of the footage we’ve seen from the actual movie.

So what fate awaits “World War Z: The Film”? Only time will tell.

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