World War Z Getting An Overhaul From Seven Weeks Of Reshoots

Concept art for the World War Z movie

I don’t know what’s up with World War Z but I must admit that I’ve been sceptical about this project from day one.

First of all, there was the appointment of director Marc Forster who has shown no facility with films in this genre and, with Quantum of Solace and Machine Gun Preacher as examples, seems to struggle with some of the fundamentals of on-screen action.

Then there was the revelation that the script was a total restructuring of the source book. I’m all for revamping and reworking, but this was a 180 degree turn from what made Max Brooks’ book interesting in the first place and therefore, if the screenplay was of high quality and successful, the quality and success of the original book would have had very little to do with it.

The book had this blurb:

A UN representative, writing a report on the great zombie war, interviews survivors in the wake of World War Z.

And the film has this:

The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), 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. Mireille Enos plays Gerry’s wife Karen Lane; Andre Kertesz is his comrade in arms, Segen.

Or at least had that blurb. The Daily Mail are reporting that the film has gone back into production for seven weeks worth of reshoots, and that’s a big chunk of time. It could be enough to change the film beyond recognition.

The picture started filming nearly a year ago and then wrapped last summer — but clearly director Marc Forster and his producers aren’t happy, because seven weeks is a long time to re-shoot a film.

Details are sketchy and it’s not certain whether or not the film’s other stars, Matthew Fox and James Badge Dale, are with Pitt for the new shooting schedule.

Seems, from that report, that Forster is still involved, though it may have just been an assumption. I do also wonder if DP Robert Richardson will be coming back.

Now, I think it’s fair to read reshoots as a good sign. They at least indicate an attempt to fix what is broken.

And while we don’t know by which standards the work was being considered defective, of course, it’s unreasonable to expect the intent of the new shoot is necessarily negative, or that reshoots won’t work.

Essentially, we only know one thing more about the project than we did before reshoots were flagged up: that the film isn’t being shovelled out with complete indifference. Surely that, when considered as a single point, is a very good thing?