Zombie fans love the shit out of Max Brook’s novel World War Z. These same fans flailed their limbs in excitement when, after years of development hell, director Marc Forster was to adapt the “Oral History of The Zombie War”. That initial enthusiasm however, ended real fucking quick. Every fan went stark raving mad, when the synopsis for the World War Z film was released.
The narrative structure of the book is like that of a documentary. Basically, the narrator journeys around the world and interviews survivors to piece together the story of the zombie uprising. The adaptation however, takes place as the war is happening, with Brad Pitt‘s character, Gerry Lane, on a mission to stop it.
Fans are upset that the major crux of the story, its narrative structure and being told through a string of post-war vignettes, is changed. In addition, even more fans were lost when a set clip featured a .38 second human to zombie transformation, along with ghouls that can move like track stars.
During a interview, promoting Machine Gun Preacher, Marc Forster addressed some of these changes and concerns.
The idea, obviously the book is not written as a narrative, you try to take things from the book, but at same time you’re changing certain things. I do feel we’re trying to keep it in the spirit of the book because it’s important.
We are doing our own film, telling our own story because we had to. But trying to still include as much as we can from the book.
He then goes on to talk about how the zombies move in the film saying,
In Max Brook’s book they move in the George Romero fashion. I feel like we have a little bit different approach. But it doesn’t exclude that they might not eventually be fashioned how George Romero’s zombies move, it’s just a little bit different approach. I think that will probably be the biggest discussions that there will be.
Like many fans, I don’t like it when material I know and love is fucked with. However, in this case, I think an exception can be made. Honestly, the book, with it’s non-central narrative, isn’t ripe for adaptation. Big changes were necessary. It wouldn’t have been film-able any other way. On the other hand, why make it in the first place, why not just make another zombie movie?
As for fast moving zombies, I don’t agree with Forster’s reasoning. Slow zombies are scarier because you know you can get away from them, but you seemingly can’t do it.
What do you guys think of the change? Is it a big deal to you or are you open to waiting and seeing what Forster does with it?
The movie is scheduled for release Dec. 21, 2012. Here’s the official plot synopsis:
The story 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. Enos plays Gerry’s wife Karen Lane; Kertesz is his comrade in arms, Segen.