World War Z, based on Max Brooks’ novel, starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) was originally set to hit theaters on December 21, 2012 when it was moved to June 21, 2013. The six month date change made way for seven weeks of reshoots, an abnormally lengthy amount of time. And it appears now more than just reshoots will be involved, but a bit of rewriting as well with Paramount calling on Prometheus screenwriter Damon Lindelof to a bit of rejiggering.
The original draft of the screenplay was written by Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom) and revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (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.
Lindelof (via THR) is being called in to focus on the movie’s third act with hopes to begin reshoots in September or October.
This is the second film Paramount has had to shuffle as of late due to reshoots. First it was G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which is getting a 3-D overhaul and reportedly adding more Channing Tatum to sate the needs of focus group members with little interest for those that actually like and appreciate a good story. Of course, Paramount aren’t the only ones dipping into the reshoot pool on blockbusters as of late.
Universal’s 47 Ronin was moved to February 2013 for massive reshoots, John Carter underwent extensive and expensive reshoots and Men in Black III took a long hiatus to resolve script problems before returning to complete the film. Reshoots, of course, are not uncommon, but these big release date shifts paint a pretty negative picture of the films that are being moved around, warranted or not.
Whether these moves actually helped any of these films we’ll never really know having not been able to say the original product, but of the films mentioned above, while those that have been released may not have been entirely panned, none of them blew the doors off. When you consider other widely discussed, troubled pictures such as Jonah Hex and The Invasion, both of which saw their directors replaced in reshoots, things like this simply are not a good sign.
Kudos to The Playlist for helping me remember the Jonah Hex and The Invasion reshoots.