January 25, 2012

World War Z Movie to Become Trilogy?

Every movie studio wants to squeeze a franchise out of its films, so it's no surprise that Paramount may be hoping to stretch Brad Pitt's World War Z movie out in a trilogy.

Earlier this month, Marc Malkin of E! Online reported that Brad Pitt's co-star James Badge Dale told him, "That book [the flick is based on the best-selling tome of the same name] is such a thick dense book of so many socio- and political and economic views that says a lot about us as people . . . So I think we'd like to make 18 more World War Z's and we'd still have more material because it's an ongoing story." [Read more]

Does this mean we can count on seeing a trio of films based on Max Brooks's popular novel of zombie apocalypse? Don't count your zombies before they've reanimated, kiddies. First, the movie has to be successful upon its release to warrant sequels, and there are plenty of reasons to imagine why that may not happen. First, I'm sure the general public is starting to feel the effects of zombie fatigue. I can never get enough zombie movies, but -- even with the success of The Walking Dead on AMC -- I think that the zombie's popularity in mainstream culture is starting to wane.

A zombie on the set of World War Z
Second, the World War Z film may end up alienating its core audience of fans. As I discussed back in September, several key changes have  been made to the adaptation that distance it from the novel's story. It was revealed not too long ago that the plot of the World War Z movie concerns a U.N. worker traveling the world to stop a zombie attack from eliminating humanity rather than following the novel's episodic premise about a U.N. worker documenting the oral histories of a zombie war that already happened. Even worse, leaked footage from the shoot seems to show fast zombies rather than the slow zombies that Max Brooks favors.

Color me skeptical. Before we start thinking about sequels and trilogies, there are a number of hurdles World War Z has to jump first. As far as the World War Z movie is concerned, success is not a sure thing.