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Author Topic: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...  (Read 2215 times)

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Offline MathimTopic starter

World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« on: November 14, 2012, 03:51:21 PM »
As some of you may know, Max Brooks, the son of Mel Brooks, has written two books on the subject of flesh-eating ghouls, namely the Zombie Survival Guide, and World War Z. The former, intended to be humorous, blossomed into a gritty, hardcore sequel that Brad Pitt won the rights to do a film adaptation of. The trailer was just released and I couldn't have been more crestfallen to find out that the zombies are the running variety. Not only is that the polar opposite of what his books describe the zombies as being, but the story looks like it couldn't have less to do with the book and is related to it in name only.

I know books and movie adaptations of them often differ but frankly this is utterly ridiculous. I know many people who haven't read the book say the trailer looks intriguing but it just lacks the spirit Brooks put into every page. To make a slow-moving drone scary is difficult but he pulls it off with aplomb, while Hollywood is so quick to go with what seems to be the more appealing, modern representation of the running, not walking, dead.

So, rant over. I just wanted to get that off my chest and see if anyone cares enough to comment. Anyone who's read the book, and/or seen the trailer, please tell us what your opinion is. Also, feel free to give your two cents on the shambling, stiff zombie versus the more 'alive but infected and running' variety. Cheers!

World War Z - Official Trailer (HD)

Offline Stella

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Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 04:02:20 PM »
I watched it last night. I spent a good deal of time wondering wtf was going on, because it looked like a pretty cool zombie movie - just not WWZ. The bit with the zombies toppling the bus, seriously, that looked great.

But it's nothing like the WWZ zombies! And this plot with Brad Pitt looking for a cure or something, what is that? It looks like a lazy departure from the book to tie all the plots together. That's if they keep all those survivor stories.

I think if I'm going to enjoy this movie I will have to forget it is supposed to be based on WWZ.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 04:12:53 PM »
Some of it I can get.. the toppling of the bus for example..and the literal WAVES of zombies I can see.. but the speed they move at kills it for me.

I enjoyed WWZ the book.. the format was awesome and helped spread the experience over years and showed how the world changed.. big and small in response to the book. I mean.. you had how the Isrealies literally finally settled the Palenstine issue.. only to deal with TERRORISM from the jewish side of things. The man who came up with the plan to survive this. He knew he had to become a monster to come up with the solution. You have out takes from survivors. You see how the world went low tech to face the zombie.. lots of stories.

The trailer.. I'm.. meh. You're right though.. it's NOT World War Z

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 05:27:45 PM »
Cool, I'm not alone in this. The thing about WWZ for me was how Brooks was able to make it go from patient zero to full-blown swarms of the slow-moving variety without anyone noticing and taking action until it was too late-that speaks volumes about human nature which is what the book was all about, whereas with these charging hordes, you lose all the feeling the book generated and there's too great a sense of urgency so the suspense wears down. I can't believe Brooks actually said in an interview that he thought the writer of the screenplay actually did a good job. I don't want to think of Brooks as a sellout, but...

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 06:14:50 PM »
Cool, I'm not alone in this. The thing about WWZ for me was how Brooks was able to make it go from patient zero to full-blown swarms of the slow-moving variety without anyone noticing and taking action until it was too late-that speaks volumes about human nature which is what the book was all about, whereas with these charging hordes, you lose all the feeling the book generated and there's too great a sense of urgency so the suspense wears down. I can't believe Brooks actually said in an interview that he thought the writer of the screenplay actually did a good job. I don't want to think of Brooks as a sellout, but...

Depends.. did he mean a 'good and accurate adaptation of my book' or a 'good movie using my book as a foundation to build upon.'

Offline Shjade

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 07:50:43 PM »
Well, yeah, WWZ the book takes place after the war, so obviously any movie taking place during the war isn't going to be the book regardless of the speed of the zombies. The book doesn't provide enough insights into "wartime" to produce a coherent narrative going just off the book's content: you'd get some Yonkers, some of General There'snowayinhellI'llrememberhowtospellhisname's square-formation last stand, some of the Russian rebellions and the general military pulling out to ditch refugees to die, but you'd be all over the place and never have a worthwhile linear story to follow. (Unless you set a movie in that college fortress, maybe. You know the one, the place where they made that movie on how the students held out for however long it was they held out in there, a year or something? That could be enough for a stand-alone movie.)

So it doesn't surprise me that they decided to insert a different plot for the movie to follow within that general setting. What does surprise me is the running zombies. Everything else seems fine, but that one detail changes everything. It's more like a global 28 Days Earlier than a WWZ adaptation. :|

Offline Lux12

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Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 07:59:19 PM »
We live in an age when humans no longer consider slow zombies all that threatening I mean sure people might be slower to catch on, but it would be so much more easily handled by the powers that be. I'm not saying it couldn't be potentially damaging, but people just aren't scared by slow zombies all that much anymore. They feel more threatened by faster things that want to kill or infect them.  It's the difference between being chased by a man sized carnivorous slug and a tiger.

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Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 08:55:57 PM »
There was a comedian who had a line in one of his routines:

'Yeah, if the Mummy was comin' after me, I'd run... but I'd pack first!'

Offline TemperSet

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 09:22:52 PM »
I kind of think they'll just make the zombies run fast and have Mark Brooks on to maybe add some new tactics accordingly? They definitely pulled alot from the book as far as I can tell.

Offline Shjade

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 12:13:57 AM »
I'm trying to think of how to make a movie about a slow-moving zombie epidemic as opposed to the fast type. The only ones I can think of are just post-outbreak, not during.

I'm thinking it would have to be more procedural/mystery than either action or thriller. This kind of thing doesn't spread because we're incapable of stopping it; it's because no one realizes there's anything to stop until it's already branched out beyond the bounds of reasonable containment. Probably wouldn't be much in the way of visible on-screen zombies until well into the movie, just aftermath. Unusual murders, unexplained infections, lots of visits to the morgue until the morgue gets trashed, etc. ...I dunno, it'd be rough. Or maybe it just seems rough because I'm not a movie writer.

Fast zombies are easier because a fast zombie outbreak movie can play like 99% of disaster movies: core family unit you follow as they try to survive the earthquake/hurricane/volcano eruption/tidal wave/end of the world/whatever that's throwing everything to hell all around them. Slow zombie outbreak is more...methodical. Slower paced, obviously. Less "run from panic event X in setpiece Y!" and more "lots of evacuation and panic about something we can't even see," since in all likelihood if you're seeing the horde coming in the case of the slow outbreak you're pretty much already at the end of your rope.

Probably end up more like the Walking Dead, I guess: mostly drama between survivors, not much interaction with the zombies after using them to create the setting.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 07:42:35 AM »
There's something about the wall segment in the trailer that says "World War Starship Troopers" to me. These Zs act more like a swarm of army ants, climbing over the bodies of their fallen fellows to get to the top, chasing Brad Pitt even after he's flying away in a chopper so they just fall off the building one after the other.

Offline Moraline

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 07:45:52 AM »
I'm trying to think of how to make a movie about a slow-moving zombie epidemic as opposed to the fast type. The only ones I can think of are just post-outbreak, not during.

I'm thinking it would have to be more procedural/mystery than either action or thriller. This kind of thing doesn't spread because we're incapable of stopping it; it's because no one realizes there's anything to stop until it's already branched out beyond the bounds of reasonable containment. Probably wouldn't be much in the way of visible on-screen zombies until well into the movie, just aftermath. Unusual murders, unexplained infections, lots of visits to the morgue until the morgue gets trashed, etc. ...I dunno, it'd be rough. Or maybe it just seems rough because I'm not a movie writer.

Fast zombies are easier because a fast zombie outbreak movie can play like 99% of disaster movies: core family unit you follow as they try to survive the earthquake/hurricane/volcano eruption/tidal wave/end of the world/whatever that's throwing everything to hell all around them. Slow zombie outbreak is more...methodical. Slower paced, obviously. Less "run from panic event X in setpiece Y!" and more "lots of evacuation and panic about something we can't even see," since in all likelihood if you're seeing the horde coming in the case of the slow outbreak you're pretty much already at the end of your rope.

Probably end up more like the Walking Dead, I guess: mostly drama between survivors, not much interaction with the zombies after using them to create the setting.

I grudgingly have to agree with all of this.

I think slow moving zombies are infinitely more terrifying personally but zombie movies these days are more about action then horror. Which I'm actually thankful for because I prefer the action. I find horror a bit dull.

On the specific subject of the trailer - I thought it was great. The zombie hordes appear to have a mass ant colony like vibe to them, just spilling out over everywhere in waves, using each other as ladders. I like it.


*edit: Avis beat me to the Ant comparison but i'm glad I'm not the only one that sees it.

Also, I really don't find fast moving zombies terrifying. Fast zombies ends up equaling fast action which negates the terror effect. Sure in real life I'd be more frightened but in a cinema/movie it's no where near as scary.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 07:49:02 AM by Moraline »

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Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 08:01:15 AM »
There's something about the wall segment in the trailer that says "World War Starship Troopers" to me. These Zs act more like a swarm of army ants, climbing over the bodies of their fallen fellows to get to the top, chasing Brad Pitt even after he's flying away in a chopper so they just fall off the building one after the other.

There are two factors when dealing with the undead - speed, and intelligence.  Transmission is another thing, but speed and intelligence are pretty much what determine their actions/strategies.  Slow and dumb, you get the shambling horde.  Slow and smart, possibly 'wolf-pack' tactics, ambushes, circling the prey.  Fast and smart, freaking velociraptors - don't bother writing a will, because humanity is pretty much done.  Fast and dumb - run at nearest food source.  Maybe they have enough sense to bonk their way around a wall, but the hundreds and thousands behind them haven't stopped Plan A yet.

Kind of like Black Friday crowds, only without the 'human interest' reporter.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2012, 08:07:56 AM »
Kind of like Black Friday crowds, only without the 'human interest' reporter.

"I'll show you a door-buster special!"

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 08:42:29 AM »
There are two factors when dealing with the undead - speed, and intelligence.  Transmission is another thing, but speed and intelligence are pretty much what determine their actions/strategies.  Slow and dumb, you get the shambling horde.  Slow and smart, possibly 'wolf-pack' tactics, ambushes, circling the prey.  Fast and smart, freaking velociraptors - don't bother writing a will, because humanity is pretty much done.  Fast and dumb - run at nearest food source.  Maybe they have enough sense to bonk their way around a wall, but the hundreds and thousands behind them haven't stopped Plan A yet.

Kind of like Black Friday crowds, only without the 'human interest' reporter.

Sort of reminds me of the zombies in Feed.  Newer ones are faster older are slow. More than five in an area is bad. More than twenty, you start seeing scary wits. A hundred plus is downright deadly.

Offline Shjade

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2012, 11:21:02 AM »
There's something about the wall segment in the trailer that says "World War Starship Troopers" to me. These Zs act more like a swarm of army ants, climbing over the bodies of their fallen fellows to get to the top, chasing Brad Pitt even after he's flying away in a chopper so they just fall off the building one after the other.

The wall tactic is new, but the lemming impression off the building is straight out of the book. The canine units figured it out when they were clearing the urban areas, remember? There was a heavily infested building and one of the dogs ran up to the top of a building near it and started barking. Led a bunch of zombies to just walk off the building trying to reach it.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2012, 02:50:04 PM »
The scary thing about the slow-moving ones is the claustrophobic feeling the book generated, like that pilot lady who got dumped right into Z country and had to be careful about noise and find a safe spot to sleep but still got surrounded. It's a numbers game, the terror comes from being outnumbered, surrounded, and with no place to hide. If they really wanted to they could have made the slow thing work, it just needs a director who's good with atmosphere. It just feels like they wanted to take the lazy approach because it speeds up the narrative.

Quote
Well, yeah, WWZ the book takes place after the war, so obviously any movie taking place during the war isn't going to be the book regardless of the speed of the zombies. The book doesn't provide enough insights into "wartime" to produce a coherent narrative going just off the book's content: you'd get some Yonkers, some of General There'snowayinhellI'llrememberhowtospellhisname's square-formation last stand, some of the Russian rebellions and the general military pulling out to ditch refugees to die, but you'd be all over the place and never have a worthwhile linear story to follow. (Unless you set a movie in that college fortress, maybe. You know the one, the place where they made that movie on how the students held out for however long it was they held out in there, a year or something? That could be enough for a stand-alone movie.)

So it doesn't surprise me that they decided to insert a different plot for the movie to follow within that general setting. What does surprise me is the running zombies. Everything else seems fine, but that one detail changes everything. It's more like a global 28 Days Earlier than a WWZ adaptation. :|

I thought the book did an excellent job describing in-depth what was happening before and during the war, or at least enough to make a movie with. General Raj Singh (the one you couldn't remember how to spell) showing up to detonate those charges and stop the last-resort nuking would have been an awesome scene. And frankly, it's not intended to be a linear narrative, it should have played like a documentary from the way the book was structured, so it would be expected to be less focused on a single area by the readers, and it could have been an original approach for those unfamiliar with the actual background. I think it would have been worth the effort to make it reflect the book more accurately. As it is, the trailer makes it look like a full-movie version of what's happening in 2004's Dawn of the Dead where it shows what's happening on that montage while Sarah Polley is unconscious.

Offline Stella

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Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2012, 03:14:39 PM »
^ +1

A good screenwriter could have pulled all those stories together to make a terrific plot without inventing a new one in its place.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2012, 04:13:13 PM »
Thank you; as a writer, I like the idea of integrity and could have easily written a screenplay that made the slow-moving zombies threatening, so I don't see why they didn't at least try it.

Personally, I thought it would have been the best approach to tell the story from the point of view of that one director guy who shot the video of the Avalon college battle, because it would make sense for him to be shipped all over the world and cover all the major happenings. It would have to have fudged the timeline a little but it still would have worked.

Offline Moraline

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2012, 04:34:56 PM »
The thing I find terrifying about slow moving zombies is that they are so relentless.

There is always the building tension that there is no way out and no matter what you do they will find you and get you.

When the action is so fast there's little time to do anything but react.

Slow moving sits with you and builds until you feel like your going to scream. It's like the beating of Edgar Allan Poe's Tell-Tale Heart. Accept with zombies, it's a *scratch scratch scratch.. shamble shamble shamble...* (( BRAINS! ))

I've never read World War Z. It's nice to know that the movie won't spoil it for me. HA!

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2012, 06:03:26 PM »
^ +1

A good screenwriter could have pulled all those stories together to make a terrific plot without inventing a new one in its place.

A good screenwriter would have cost money. They spent all their budget on getting Brad Pitt to star.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2012, 06:29:45 PM »
A good screenwriter would have cost money. They spent all their budget on getting Brad Pitt to star.

Actually, it was Brad Pitt's idea in the first place. His Plan B production company was in a bidding war with Leonardo Dicaprio's and he won. So this might have starred Leo D instead had things gone differently. Don't know how this would have affected the script, though. One has to wonder why Brooks didn't want to try his hand at writing a rudimentary screenplay or at least saying which scenes in the book he would have wanted in the movie. I know he had no creative control but there's nothing wrong with writing a friendly letter full of suggestions...

Offline LaCroix

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2012, 06:30:53 PM »
I actually think I heard Brad Pitt paid to option the book into a movie himself. I'll have to double check that.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2012, 06:38:43 PM »
Huh, I didn't realize that.

Offline consortium11

Re: World War Z! From book to movie trailer...
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2012, 06:44:27 PM »
A good screenwriter would have cost money. They spent all their budget on getting Brad Pitt to star.

I doubt Pitt cost must considering his company is making it...