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Problems with World War Z Movie

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Guardsman Bass
PostPosted: 2012-06-14 01:22pm 

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rad Pitt went into producing and starring in Paramount’s World War Z, based on a best-selling Max Brooks novel about zombies in a postapocalyptic world, hoping to kick off a trilogy that would amount to more than just a series of PG-13 popcorn movies.

“Can we take this genre movie and use it as a Trojan horse for sociopolitical problems, and what would the effect on the world be if everything we knew was upside-down and pulled out from under us?” he told The Hollywood Reporter in January, suggesting that his inspiration was the iconic 1974 disaster epic, The Towering Inferno.

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It now seems that everything was upside-down on World War Z. “A nightmare from top to bottom,” describes one source with ties to the production, which appears to have been hampered from the outset by a lack of clear creative direction. Pitt hired the director of his choosing, Marc Forster (The Kite Runner, Finding Neverland), but Forster -- who has limited experience on effects-heavy tentpoles -- was not allowed to bring along his usual team. Instead, several more seasoned players were hired. The result, say multiple sources, is a seemingly headless enterprise driven by conflicts. At this point, the movie, with a price tag now said to be north of $170 million, needs as many as five weeks of complex reshoots, which are not expected to get underway until at least September. Paramount has taken the unusual step of hiring Prometheus scriptwriter Damon Lindelof to rework the film’s third act. The studio announced in March that it was moving the film to June 2013 from December.

Trouble emerged early: Three weeks before shooting was to begin in June 2011, sources say Forster had not made critical decisions about what the zombies would look like and how they would move. “They just couldn’t get it right,” one insider says. “There was a lot of spinning of plates, a lot of talking. [But] they did not have a plan.” Meanwhile, seasoned below-the-line talents were hired, then replaced, including line producer Colin Wilson (Avatar) and Oscar-winning effects man John Nelson (Gladiator). Cinematographer Robert Richardson, who has three Oscars, is said to have asked to leave the production on more than one occasion. (None would comment for this report.)

World War Z is one of several recent projects that underscore the risks associated with big effects films, especially when untested directors are involved. Disney saw first-time live-action director Andrew Stanton’s John Carter bomb in March, and Universal is facing serious problems with the $175 million to $200 million Keanu Reeves samurai film 47 Ronin, which it pushed into 2013 after first-timer Carl Rinsch presided over a chaotic shoot. Industry veterans say World War Z is another example of a film that was greenlighted and sent into production with a concept and script that were not fully baked. And they cite this situation as one of many in which studios set release dates and then push to finish in the timeframe allotted, leaving insufficient prep time.

In Paramount’s case, World War Z is the third film -- along with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and G.I. Joe: Retaliation -- to be shoved out of 2012, leaving the studio with just a trickle of movies for this year. Sources involved with the project believe it was assured a greenlight because of the longstanding relationship between Pitt and Paramount chief Brad Grey, who once managed the star and was a partner in Pitt’s Plan B production company. (When Grey took the job at Paramount in 2005, Plan B promptly moved there from Warner Bros.)

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Paramount insulated itself on World War Z to some degree by taking on partners, including producer Graham King and Silicon Valley scion David Ellison’s Skydance Productions. Sources say both made efforts, to little effect, to intervene as the movie got into trouble.

Several sources question Pitt’s choice of Forster to direct. The only film on Forster’s résumé in the action vein is the 2008 James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, which disappointed creatively compared to its immediate predecessor, Casino Royale. Sources with ties to World War Z say the hope was that Forster could focus on character and story while a strong crew could guide him on action and effects. Among those brought on was Simon Crane, the second-unit director who helped to salvage Pitt’s 2005 film Mr. & Mrs. Smith. But even Forster’s detractors say the attempt to bolster him created its own problems.

“The director was not empowered,” says one insider. “There was 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.”

There were other problems. As the movie was being prepped last spring, Pitt and his producing partner, Dede Gardner, were busy with Killing Them Softly, a small film that played Cannes in May. Then Pitt was unavailable because he was spending time with his family. By the time Gardner began to focus on the project a few weeks before shooting, a source says, “the disaster was already well in the making.” (Gardner, Pitt and Forster did not respond to requests for comment.)

It was unclear to several people working on the film whether Paramount was fully aware of the mounting issues, including the insufficient time allotted for the shoot. While Crane is said to have wanted 60 days or more for second-unit work, for example, the schedule called for about a third of that. Some insiders expected that Pitt could use his influence with Grey to get more time and money, but sources say the studio provided neither. Instead, it replaced key crew members such as line producer Wilson. (Ian Bryce, whose credits include Transformers, took his place. Wilson did not respond to a request for comment.)

As the production wended its way through locations in London, Glasgow, Malta and Budapest, there was still more trouble. By several accounts, cinematographer Richardson struggled to impose order, antagonizing other crewmembers in the process. A colleague says Richardson is highly gifted but doesn’t respond well to weakness at the top. “If you waffle at all, you get slammed,” he says.

Then in October, proceedings were disrupted when a Hungarian anti-terrorism unit raided an airport warehouse and confiscated 85 fully functional automatic assault rifles that were to be used on the shoot. (The guns were not supposed to be operational, and it is illegal to transport such weapons into the country.) With the movie already behind schedule and over budget, Pitt was said to be livid at the mistake — and perhaps wearying of a project that was showing no sign of ending.

While such significant problems do not ordinarily augur well, it is possible to pull troubled movies back from the brink. (The Bourne Identity is one vivid example.) “The footage from this film looks fantastic, but we all agreed it can have a better ending,” Paramount film group president Adam Goodman tells The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Another source associated with World War Z says he believes the movie can be saved. “It’s a great first 45 minutes, maybe even an hour,” he says.

And in that January interview, Pitt seemed sure the movie would find at least some enthusiastic fans. “I know my boys are going to like it,” he said. He seemed less sanguine, however, about the prospects for a trilogy.


Now we know why it was pushed back a year.

I can't say I'm surprised that they've had difficulties in adapting the book for film. The structure of the novel is built around a series of anecdotes, and linked together by Brooks' reporter avatar and a ton of small details (like one anecdote mentioning an event that had happened a few weeks before, and so forth). Moreover, what made the book fun to read and different from other zombie stuff was the scale of things going on, with Brooks looking at a Zombie Apocalypse from the global level instead of the usual Romero-esque "small group trying to survive in post-apocalyptic, zombie-filled world".

That's not the type of thing that lends itself to being adapted easily, although some films have tried structures like that (such as Interview with a Vampire and Big Fish). I always figured they would change that for a more conventional movie plot outline, and they did.

I'm sad that it's running into such production difficulties, though. It was one of the films I was really hoping to see in 2012. It's not the only film that's having production issues - the Lone Ranger movie is way over budget and behind schedule, and the 47 Ronin movie with Keanu Reeves got kicked back to 2013 for the same reason.
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Mr Bean
PostPosted: 2012-06-14 02:04pm 

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You could still do that easily by using the multiple viewpoint method.

For example you got the five main viewpoints
Jurgen Warmbrunn the agent who discovers the out-break and breaks the news to his goverment who breaks it to the world
Jessika Hendricks the average American who flees north
Todd Wainio the American we get to follow through the Yonkers debacle
Travis D'Ambrosia, Supreme allied commander
Kwang Jingshu, The Chinese doctor who deals with patient Zero

Now for global reach you add in extra viewpoints some of the non-US based views
Ahmed Farahnakian, the Iranian Major who can handle viewpoints in the Middle East along with
Xolelwa Azania, The South African response and the infamous Redeker Plan

If you want two movies or even three you just expand two or three characters and divide it up into chapters as the book was between the Discovery, the Great Panic and the Response.

Sounds like instead we are going to follow one or two characters only and they will drop the other interesting bits.
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Guardsman Bass
PostPosted: 2012-06-14 03:36pm 

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That still sounds like it would work much better as a Mini-series instead of a movie, since you could then do each episode as an interview with a particular character. Seven POV characters in a single movie will be chaotic, unless you drastically shrink the screen-time of some of them.

Unfortunately, they'll probably cut anything related to Kwang Jingshu and the disastrous Chinese response to the outbreaks. Hollywood is big on sucking up to China in order to get their big-budget movies a spot in the yearly quota of foreign films allowed inside, and the Chinese stuff was enough so that the book isn't legally published there (the Chinese apparently said it could only be published if they changed all the references of China).
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Sidewinder
PostPosted: 2012-06-16 05:47pm 

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Quote:
“Can we take this genre movie and use it as a Trojan horse for sociopolitical problems, and what would the effect on the world be if everything we knew was upside-down and pulled out from under us?”

NO. When Hollywood tries to use genre movies as Trojan horses for sociopolitical problems, the results tend to be broken Aesops, which just end up insulting the audience's intelligence (see Star Trek: Insurrection, The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), and many more).
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Ryan Thunder
PostPosted: 2012-06-16 11:01pm 

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You could've just said they felt stupid, shallow, and forced.
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Guardsman Bass
PostPosted: 2012-06-16 11:24pm 

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Sidewinder wrote:
Quote:
“Can we take this genre movie and use it as a Trojan horse for sociopolitical problems, and what would the effect on the world be if everything we knew was upside-down and pulled out from under us?”

NO. When Hollywood tries to use genre movies as Trojan horses for sociopolitical problems, the results tend to be broken Aesops, which just end up insulting the audience's intelligence (see Star Trek: Insurrection, The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), and many more).


World War Z mostly was a satire of real world problems, as well as a "what if" showing a world-wide response to a zombie apocalypse. The whole bad Chinese response was in part a mockery of how they handled a real bird flu outbreak before the book came out, Yonkers was a "everything goes wrong" situation mocking the tendency among militaries to fight the last war, the Russian chapters were spoofing Russia's real-world tendencies towards authoritarianism, and so forth. You'd be taking something away from the book's themes if you omitted those types of elements.
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Sidewinder
PostPosted: 2012-06-18 02:36am 

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Guardsman Bass wrote:
World War Z mostly was a satire of real world problems, as well as a "what if" showing a world-wide response to a zombie apocalypse. The whole bad Chinese response was in part a mockery of how they handled a real bird flu outbreak before the book came out, Yonkers was a "everything goes wrong" situation mocking the tendency among militaries to fight the last war, the Russian chapters were spoofing Russia's real-world tendencies towards authoritarianism, and so forth. You'd be taking something away from the book's themes if you omitted those types of elements.

Emphasis mine. The Battle of Yonkers was BULLSHIT, as MKSheppard and others have pointed out (see here, here, here). Basically, the only way it could've gone the way it did in the novel, was if the entire military leadership was lobotomized to remove all knowledge of ARTILLERY, AIR STRIKES, and ARMORED WARFARE.
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evilsoup
PostPosted: 2012-06-18 12:09pm 

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It's almost as if the military didn't want to flatten New York with artillery.
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Guardsman Bass
PostPosted: 2012-06-18 01:18pm 

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Sidewinder wrote:
Guardsman Bass wrote:
World War Z mostly was a satire of real world problems, as well as a "what if" showing a world-wide response to a zombie apocalypse. The whole bad Chinese response was in part a mockery of how they handled a real bird flu outbreak before the book came out, Yonkers was a "everything goes wrong" situation mocking the tendency among militaries to fight the last war, the Russian chapters were spoofing Russia's real-world tendencies towards authoritarianism, and so forth. You'd be taking something away from the book's themes if you omitted those types of elements.

Emphasis mine. The Battle of Yonkers was BULLSHIT, as MKSheppard and others have pointed out (see here, here, here). Basically, the only way it could've gone the way it did in the novel, was if the entire military leadership was lobotomized to remove all knowledge of ARTILLERY, AIR STRIKES, and ARMORED WARFARE.


I don't particularly give a shit if it was a perfectly realistic treatment of the effects of artillery fire on walking corpses. Again, it was satire, which involved Brooks deliberately playing up and exaggerating certain elements to make a political point. Do you also criticize the "Celebrity Mansion", "Japanese Otaku", and "Breckinridge in Antarctica" chapters because they do the same thing?

evilsoup wrote:
It's almost as if the military didn't want to flatten New York with artillery.


Or that they might have supply difficulties three months into a giant public panic, with the country awash in tens of millions of internally displaced refugees. But I digress, and again, nitpicking the realism would be missing the whole "satire" element of the book. There are parts where it's exaggerated deliberately beyond what would be strictly realistic (again, the "Celebrity Mansion" chapter).

This is all getting off topic, in the typical way for World War Z topics. Back on the movie-

Regardless of what you think of the tactics at Yonkers, I think it makes for some very cool visual imagery (which people have attempted to capture in artwork like this). If they end up doing a couple of movies after all, then Yonkers would likely be the end of Movie One. If they don't do more than a single movie, then Yonkers might not be in the movie at all - there's no easy way to include it in a movie where the Zombie Pandemic gets under control earlier on, unless the movie decided to end pessimistically with the Yonkers fiasco and the US pulling back across the Rockies.

I wonder if they could combine the Jesika Hendricks segment with the "Panic on I-80 in Iowa" segment. That would require changing some of the details of the Hendricks story (she lived in the Great Lakes region pre-Panic), but it would also allow for some very nice imagery. It would also be relatively cheap compared to the hardware- and CGI-fest that Yonkers will be.
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jollyreaper
PostPosted: 2012-06-19 08:14am 

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WWZ isn't just a collection of stories, it's a theme. There could be any number of further personal tales from the setting that would fit perfectly into the larger experience. For example, Coast to Coast did a War of the Words-inspired broadcast talking about their own experience through the zombie war.

Whenever I watched a zombie movie I wanted to see more about what was on the emergency broadcasts and see what was going on everywhere else. Sticking with a small group in a mall or farmhouse was the least interesting part.

WWZ could be done as a movie but I would prefer a premium cable miniseries. It wouldn't even have to be exactly the same characters. It might be stronger in this case to stick with primary characters in America so each set of characters have a chance to overlap and interact. After all, we already have the novel and audiobook which are both excellent. There's no need to follow it note for note if we could keep it thematically true. We have the soldier character who made it from Yonkers to the end of the war. We've got the housewife, the California bastion, the wheelchair-bound zombie hunter, etc. The air force pilot could literally drop into the story wherever you want.

Doing the full international scope could be expensive, trying to get everything from South America to Pakistan and Russia, India, the Middle East, etc. it might be possible to have those segments related in a documentary style with an interview and still photos and use that to bookend the fully dramatized stories. The invisible interviewer thing is easier to pull off in a book rather than film. A strict adaptation cutting nothing, wow. I bet it would require a full network season and a budget on par with a big Hollywood blockbuster. It would be better to cut storylines than execute them poorly.

I can think of any number of valid ways to approach the adaptation. The only stupid way to do it would be to limit the perspective to one POV and make it exactly like every other boring zombie movie, removing every detail that elevated it above the crowd.
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Guardsman Bass
PostPosted: 2012-06-19 10:25am 

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jollyreaper wrote:
Doing the full international scope could be expensive, trying to get everything from South America to Pakistan and Russia, India, the Middle East, etc. it might be possible to have those segments related in a documentary style with an interview and still photos and use that to bookend the fully dramatized stories. The invisible interviewer thing is easier to pull off in a book rather than film. A strict adaptation cutting nothing, wow. I bet it would require a full network season and a budget on par with a big Hollywood blockbuster. It would be better to cut storylines than execute them poorly.


I would be sad to lose the international perspective, since some of that is pretty cool stuff. But I think you're right, and it's likely that a mini-series would focus on the America-centric narratives (which is partially what the abridged audiobook did - they cut out a lot of the international POV segments, leaving just a few key ones behind).

Most of the anecdotes probably wouldn't be too expensive to shoot. There are some that are huge, large-scale events, such as Yonkers and the Wainio chapters in general. Most of the rest, though, are small-scale events that could be done for relatively cheap.
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jollyreaper
PostPosted: 2012-06-19 11:17am 

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The cool thing with WWZ is you could completely franchise it internationally. Rather than a foreign market doing a remake, their stories would occur in the same setting as the American production.

Frankly, there's hardly a storyline in the original I'd want to lose. Some stuff wouldn't be possible like Powell and Howard Dean, it would have to be changed or the whole project becomes alternate history. I liked the creepy pasta factor of North Korea but you can't hide everyone underground and they don't have remote defense systems. Oh, and the space stuff was all wrong. And I doubt Israel would be as charitable as depicted. But damn, I love the Sputh Africa bit, the blind a-bomb survivor and his otaku apprentice, the China showdown with the subs... You can't cut!

Did the details of the JMS script ever leak? I'm curious to know how he would have adapted it.
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FedRebel
PostPosted: 2012-06-21 01:34am 

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jollyreaper wrote:
The cool thing with WWZ is you could completely franchise it internationally. Rather than a foreign market doing a remake, their stories would occur in the same setting as the American production.


Basically a spin-off, would certainly add to the mythos...but you'd have continuity issues.

Conflicting timelines, major events described in the...say British version not being mentioned as ever happening in the French, Irish, German, etc. versions. Conflicting causes and methods for the epidemic could also crop up, say a production team are big Romero fans so their version has the more mystical origin, or a production team treats it more like Rage (not dead at all, just hyper-rabid.) Some would have the infection spread by animals, some would have the virus be artifical, others natural.

Then there's China, in WWZ the virus originates there and the government is ineffectual, something that won't get off the ground in the PRC market. Given Hollywood's interest in appeasing the Chinese market this could lead to a fundamental backstory change, with the possibility of non-Hollywood centric versions staying true to Brooks' story while the Hollywood centric (and more viral) versions shift the origin to somewhere/someone else (DPRK? Al-Qaeda? Wouldn't put it past Hollywood for it to be an American bioweapon.)

Don't get me wrong, it's a good concept, you'd need one Hell of a writers Bible though.
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jollyreaper
PostPosted: 2012-06-21 01:56am 

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I'd tell you you're wrong but Japanese Spider-Man in his giant combat mecha says otherwise. :lol:

It really wouldn't be all that complicated to keep the different films set in the same continuity, if the director cared enough. Use the same makeup technique, have the zombies move the same way, reference the other films in stock footage, etc. TV footage from the Battle of Yonkers, news reports mentioning stuff we've heard previously, etc. It would actually be cool to see the confusion in different countries, especially if the government withholds information.

But you're right. They'd likely get everything mixed up. Fast zombies, slow zombies, flying zombies, dogs and cats sleeping together... a total mess!
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jollyreaper
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 12:05am 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... wTxRuq-uk#!

Trailer is out.

Reaction comes below. Spacing for spoilers. You need to see it for yourself.






um







ah






er




DAFUQ I just see? The name of the movie is World War Z, Z meaning zombies. I'm not sure what sort of ex-human threat they're facing but they ain't zombies. Some sort of weird, CGI humanoid ants or something.

This doesn't even bring me to nerd-rage. I'm so stunned at how bad this looks I'm not even mad. I'm at Stage 0 of Kubler-Ross -- the DAFUQ.

I've heard of adaption decay but this is like adaption atomic decay, it's ionizing.
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Guardsman Bass
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 01:27am 

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You see the zombies(?) in a handful of shots, despite them doing everything in their power to disguise the fact that it's a Zombie Movie in the trailer. It also looks like they changed the Romero-style zombies that were in the book into 28 Days Later rage zombies who can run and swarm at high speed (and apparently have super-jumping abilities, considering how quickly they piled up against that wall).

I'm a bit weirded out, too. What is the movie even about at this point? I went to the website, and all it has is another link to the trailer. It feels like they still haven't settled on what the movie is going to be, either, but felt obligated to get a bunch of "wow" shots together to make the first wave of commercials. At least that's what various sources seem to be implying, since they brought someone in to re-write the movie's ending just recently, after finishing up an extended period of shoots following the original shoots.
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Mr Bean
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 01:30am 

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jollyreaper wrote:
Trailer is out.

Reaction comes below. Spacing for spoilers. You need to see it for yourself.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
DAFUQ I just see? The name of the movie is World War Z, Z meaning zombies. I'm not sure what sort of ex-human threat they're facing but they ain't zombies. Some sort of weird, CGI humanoid ants or something.

This doesn't even bring me to nerd-rage. I'm so stunned at how bad this looks I'm not even mad. I'm at Stage 0 of Kubler-Ross -- the DAFUQ.

I've heard of adaption decay but this is like adaption atomic decay, it's ionizing.

I have to agree... what exactly was that?

Okay lets check our handy World War Z check list

A virus starts in China that the government tries to contain and keep under wraps but fails. Refuges flee via the mostly lawless back trails into India. Kyrgyzstain, Laos and a dozen other countries via sea and air. The disease is recognized on the world stage as "African Rabies" because the best documented cases are coming out of Cape Town Refugee ships become infected dens and the crew dumps passengers and the sick on whatever coast they are near further spreading the disease. It's a slow moving panic as the disease is not recognized for exactly how infectious it is. Further complicated by black marketers spreading the disease via harvested organs from the infected and selling them to wealthy buyers on the black market. The zombies are slow shamblers but eating the tissue, getting blood, being bitten and even casual contact can result in infect which is 100% lethal in all cases and 100% of those infected become zombies inside 12 hours after dieing which typically occurs within thirty six hours.

The zombies are also magic because they are self contained systems, IE they don't need to eat or breath or anything they just exist to bite and spread the disease but they do rot slowly and the biggest thing about them is that they swarm as each zombie signals other zombies by moaning and each moaning zombie will move towards the source of the first moan and the moan can easily carry over a mile meaning shooting a zombie with a gun results in every zombie in earshot moaning and coming to eat and every zombie within earshot of those zombies coming to eat meaning even casual fights can result in massive numbers of infected attacking.

The book is the collective experiences of humanity told through the author Max Brooks who interviews the surviving key members. The interviewer is secondary to the story existing only to ask questions and hear stories.

That trailer...
Features fast zombies who can spider climb and have super strength and scream and yell and have super jumping legs as well if the shots of the helicopter were any indication.
Also they are apparently made of explosives if the trailer is anything to go on and can turn invisible... Because that's the only way the trailer makes any sense.
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Grumman
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 02:28am 

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I agree with the general "What the hell?" consensus.

The book's zombies aren't credible as an existential threat, but I think it would have been better to tone down the scale of the threat rather than ramping up the zombies to try to sell them as such. You don't need four billion deaths to tell a story - or even multiple stories - about people trying to cope with suddenly being confronted with the fact that the undead exist.
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Guardsman Bass
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 03:08am 

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I think part of the problem is that aside from a few instances, the zombies in the book were a "slow burn" problem as Bean described - it took at least 1-2 years before the problem became unmanageable and you ended up with giant swarms wandering around. During that time, there was a crap-ton of complacency due to the belief that there was a successful vaccine, and because they were just something that most people saw on television (complacency that was exaggerated by Brooks for satirical purposes).

Doing that in a film is really hard. You'd probably have to start the movie right before the period when things really start to go bad, and drop hints about the problems in the background. That might almost work with the complacency of Pitt's family in the car in New York City, but they portrayed it more like "and then suddenly a Zombie Pandemic occurred!" type of situation.

Grumman wrote:
The book's zombies aren't credible as an existential threat, but I think it would have been better to tone down the scale of the threat rather than ramping up the zombies to try to sell them as such. You don't need four billion deaths to tell a story - or even multiple stories - about people trying to cope with suddenly being confronted with the fact that the undead exist.


Ramping them up also unfortunately lends itself to "magic bullet" story-telling, where the Pitt-character finds the surefire way to stop the zombies cold (something that didn't happen in the book - we never even find out how they "work", although several characters comment on how bizarre they are).
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FSTargetDrone
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 03:34am 

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Uh, well, it's got some nice overhead shots of Philadelphia (not NYC!) in the beginning...but yeah, that CGI really stood out, and I watched the 720p trailer. That CGI didn't look any better than it did in I Am Legend.
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Guardsman Bass
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 05:05am 

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EDIT: Just watched it again. The zombie scenes just look . . . weird, particularly the scene in the street where they almost look like they're bubbling out of a video game-style spawn point.

FSTargetdrone wrote:
That CGI didn't look any better than it did in I Am Legend.


I noticed we didn't get much in terms of close-ups on the zombies, which makes me wonder if the CGI's going to get a do-over again. After all, they're already re-writing the ending.
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Alkaloid
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 06:30am 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2011-03-21 07:59am
Posts: 949
Quote:
I think part of the problem is that aside from a few instances, the zombies in the book were a "slow burn" problem as Bean described - it took at least 1-2 years before the problem became unmanageable and you ended up with giant swarms wandering around. During that time, there was a crap-ton of complacency due to the belief that there was a successful vaccine, and because they were just something that most people saw on television (complacency that was exaggerated by Brooks for satirical purposes).


[Reveal] Spoiler:
I'd say that one of the running themes of the book was that the zombies should never have been a threat, things should never have gotten as bad as they did, but they were allowed to because people making decisions refused to really look at what they were dealing with before it was too late. It should have stopped in China but it didn't because the government didn't want people to know what was happening so they couldn't defend against it. Yonkers should have been a success but it was run like a media photo shoot instead of a military engagement so it wasn't. Every Intelligence agency in the world should have known what was happening but chose to ignore it. Every time the zombies came up against anyone remotely in the know or competent they were pushed back, or people did things that stopped them generally, but more people just buried their heads in the sand and shit piled up around them until they drowned. Actually, going with the whole 'zombies represent bad things about society' thing, I'd say the WWZ story is essentially an allegory for climate change. Also I'm spoilering this because I don't know if people have read the book. I assume you have but one never knows.
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FaxModem1
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 06:58am 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2002-10-30 07:40pm
Posts: 4422
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world
My problem with this trailer is that it looks rather...confined. Unless most of the scenes from the teaser are the opening 15 minutes, it seems the entire movie is about Brad Pitt's character getting his family evacuated out of the city. So instead of an international drama or epic about zombies sweeping the globe, it's a standard zombie movie limited to one family.
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jollyreaper
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 08:09am 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2010-06-28 10:19pm
Posts: 1050
Grumman wrote:
I agree with the general "What the hell?" consensus.

The book's zombies aren't credible as an existential threat, but I think it would have been better to tone down the scale of the threat rather than ramping up the zombies to try to sell them as such. You don't need four billion deaths to tell a story - or even multiple stories - about people trying to cope with suddenly being confronted with the fact that the undead exist.


Well, that's the question of whether traditional slow zombies could bring about an apocalypse. Could they defeat the military, law enforcement, etc. This is a thought experiment so of course we can't prove anything.

I would say that if it can only spread by infection, chances of survival for humanity are good but many will die in the freak out. If everyone who dies comes back, then an apocalypse scenario is more likely.

Either way, I think panic would cause more deaths than zombies. If you've never lived through a natural disaster, take my word for it -- losing power makes you aware of how tenuous normalcy is. I've been through Florida hurricanes. Even when my power was down, I could drive to a restaurant with power for a hot meal. Biking is also an option. And I knew normal would be back in a week or two.

What happens when all the people who make normal happen head for the hills because of the zombies? The closest comparison we have is war or mass plague. I think zombies wouldnt be your biggest worry, just a way to make a bad situation worse.

Also, to get a proper zombie moat like we see in the films, you need a critical concentration of humanity. Big cities. You'll get people turning from natural deaths as well as panic deaths and infection. In the countryside it should be easier to avoid zombies but if things have gone completely nuts then your fellow survivors would be more of a threat.

Overall, I find a total apocalypse scenario boring because there's nothing to do but wait for death. Walking Dead has that problem. World War Z was more interesting because civilization can adapt and go on.

One other argument in favor of everyone comes back dead -- paranoia. You sleep with a spouse, you run the risk of getting eaten if he or she dies while you sleep. Family members in the same house? You lock your door from the inside. If you wake up in the morning and hear moans, call 911. First responders render first aid or decapitation. Boy Scouts learn how to set fractures and sever spines with a penknife.
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Vendetta
PostPosted: 2012-11-09 08:39am 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Posts: 9362
Location: Sheffield, UK
Mr Bean wrote:
That trailer...
Features fast zombies who can spider climb and have super strength and scream and yell and have super jumping legs as well if the shots of the helicopter were any indication.
Also they are apparently made of explosives if the trailer is anything to go on and can turn invisible... Because that's the only way the trailer makes any sense.


Most of the criticism of WWZ is that zombies are inherently crap and lose in all scenarios vs. competent military forces. This would be even more obvious on film than it is in the book.


This, really, is why the only zombie books I've liked are the Newsflesh trilogy, which is set in a world after the Rising has been and gone and society did go on (though left with the legacy of 100% infection, everyone who dies will still rise again, but until they die or come in contact with the live virus they're all passive carriers.)

That does deal with the paranoia of anyone being able to reanimate and how that would affect society.
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