When news breaks that a big film’s cast and crew is reassembling for re-shoots, it’s no cause for concern. After all, every movie with the budget and schedule for it fits in time to pick up shots, smooth plot points and add more touches here and there. But when the film schedules seven weeks of re-shoots, the warning bells start to sound. Now, with Prometheus co-writer Damon Lindelof hired to do major work on the World War Z script months after it shot and before the re-shoots, that’s when the alarm sirens really howl.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Paramount is parachuting the writer in to re-write chunks of the script, focusing specifically on the third act. He has a bit of time though, as the production is looking to start re-shoots in September or October.
Adapted from Max Brooks’ epic, fake-oral-history book, World War Z tracks a zombie outbreak as it spreads across the planet, from Patient Zero to epidemic to fight back. With Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale and Anthony Mackie among the cast and Marc Forster directing, it shot in various European locales last year.
While the film was originally scheduled to come out this December, its release has been shoved back to next June. That doesn’t really bode well – and while you could point to Men In Black 3 as a film that shut down to tweak the script and turned out (slightly) better than feared, at least Barry Sonnenfeld and co knew they were going to have to do that. World War Z sounds like it has hit real trouble. But with luck, it’ll work out for the best. After all, with the book being so freakin' awesome, we want the film to live up to that. And it may be that these reshoots have a relatively benign cause: perhaps The Walking Dead stole some of the film's third-act thunder, and they're reshooting to avoid comparisons. We hope.