Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: The January Sale!
Try 3 issues of Empire magazine for just £1
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Matthew McConaughey Is Born To Run
And he's also struck Gold
Paul Bettany Says Marvel Has Plans For The Vision
Multi-film deal ahoy!
Brad Pitt Heads For Africa
He's in negotiations for Angelina Jolie's poaching film
Jon Hamm Joins Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day At Camp
Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig and more aboard
Christine Taylor Will Return For Zoolander 2
But what will Matilda be up to?
Kevin Spacey Has Nine Lives
Feline body swap comedy alert!
Jason Flemyng Plans Reign Of Blood
He's making his directorial debut with a vampire action film
Exclusive New Stills From Entourage
Ari Gold and the gang rug it out
Latest Insurgent Poster Online
Tris channels Trinity for a fresh image
Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy And More In Talks For Ghostbusters
SNL players Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones working out deals
Chris Pratt Wanted As New Indiana Jones
Disney's got early plans...
Danny Boyle Locks In His Steve Jobs Cast
Katherine Waterston and more set as production boots up
Liam Hemsworth Offered The Lead In The Independence Day Sequel
He may fight the aliens in ID Forever
First Poster For Ted 2
Grin and bare it
Morten Tyldum Taking On Passengers
Imitation Game director set for sci-fi romance
Colin Firth Aboard World Yacht Race Drama
The Theory Of Everything director James Marsh will hoist the sails
Frank Grillo Haunted By Stephanie
He'll star in Akiva Goldsman's horror thriller
Slight Update On The Last Of Us Movie
Screenwriter Neil Druckmann checks in
Octavia Spencer Joins Seacole
Playing Jamaica's Florence Nightingale in biopic
The Huntsman Suffers A Dearth Of Dwarves
Snow White sequel dispenses with the diminutive
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
YESTERDAY
Brad Pitt Heads For Africa
He's in negotiations for Angelina Jolie's poaching film
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Fury (2014)
Empire Star Rating
If I Stay (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Sabotage (2014)
Empire Star Rating
12 Years A Slave (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Counsellor (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Marc Forster Talks World War Z
As Empire sees new footage...

29 March 2013  |  Written by James White  

submit to reddit

When you know you’re about to face a horde of ravenous, infected, slavering creatures scrambling to get their hands on dwindling reserves (and that's just the press eyeing the refreshments table), it’s helpful to know Brad Pitt will be around to help out. But though he popped briefly in to say hello and admit he hadn’t wanted to make a zombie film until he read Max Brook’s source novel, it was up to director Marc Forster to bear the brunt of questions after Paramount screened some footage from World War Z on the studio’s lot in Los Angeles last week,

First, though, Empire got to see a couple of scenes from the film, largely building off of what we’ve seen in the trailers. Beware of spoilers, though they will be minimal.

Pitt’s Gerry Lane, along with his wife Karen (Mireille Enos) and their two daughters are caught in a tidal wave of terror when the zombie outbreak hits Philadelphia in the middle of rush hour. In the footage we watched, you realise why a motorbike cop is squished by that runaway garbage truck (zombie at the wheel!)

Chaos builds quickly as the scampering, leaping, seemingly unstoppable creatures begin to pick off screaming people and smashing into vehicles like wild animals. One effective motif is the use of a dropped child’s toy counting down in educational fun, a dark mirror of the 12 seconds it takes for someone bitten to turn into a creepy-eyed zomboid.

Cut to the bowels of an aircraft carrier and Gerry is ordered to help out with the growing global crisis. He demurs; his focus is now on his family, but he’s given a cold ultimatum: help out or his wife and kids can’t stay on board and rely on the relative safety of the ship. Reluctantly (or, let’s face it, there wouldn’t be much of a globe-trotting movie) Lane agrees.

One of his ports of call is Israel, where the city has built a giant protective wall on the urging of one of its officials who explains the concept of the tenth man – whereby any idea, no matter how seemingly insane, should be considered even when nine of those in authority have ruled it out. After hearing chatter coming from China about zombies, the city has gone into full isolation mode, but is still admitting survivors.

Then the swarm – there really is no better word for the way these zombies act in the scene – begins to breach the wall and Lane is quickly led through tunnels and catacombs to a waiting helicopter... But not before running into more of the undead. There’s one moment in particular, even given the PG-13 rating, which will have you flinching. It involves an arm, but we’ll say no more.

After the lights go up, Forster arrived to talk about what we’d seen and the film in general. When asked if he thought the talk of trouble and rushed development was true, he quickly shot down such thinking. “I wouldn't say it was rushed into production, it's not the right way to talk about it. We were developing the script and when you're developing a film on a massive scale from scratch, on these productions you're never completely prepared because you can prep the movie for a year and still come up with things.

"There's never enough time to prep something on that scale. We walked in there and were prepared. We finished the film on time, we didn't go over schedule, so that's a sign for me that we on time in that sense, and that's usually a sign that things are out of control. We recreated the ending, but everything else worked.”

When asked why it takes 12 seconds in the footage we saw for the infection to turn someone into a zombie (one of many elements not in Brooks' original book, which only ever features slow creatures), Forster explained that it was a narrative choice. “We discussed it for a long time and I decided that for dramatic reasons, we decided it was 12 seconds. You'll see in the movie, in different parts of the world, sometimes it takes a little longer, and it was a number we felt for dramatic storytelling it was the right amount.”

As for why he wanted to tackle a giant zombie thriller in the first place? He’s a fan and, according to Forster, the time is right once more. “Zombie movies seem to become popular in a time of change. In the '70s when they were popular that was a time of change and now it's the same thing,” he says. “So many things are changing in the world and I think that's why people are attracted to zombie movies. So whatever that change may be, there are signs everywhere and I'm an optimist and hope it'll be a positive change. But still... change can be scary!”

There’ll be more from Forster on the movie in the next issue of Empire, out at the end of next month. World War Z hits our screens on June 21.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Richard Griffiths 1947-2013
The legendary character actor has died
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

Your Comments

Eh...
Can't wait to see what World War Z holds. Defiantly a departure from the "source material" here. Lots of reshoots, but movies have been as stale as three day old popcorn in the "winter" months. Glad to see the summer movie season is upon us. Check out our summer preview over at the Not-So Daily. http://www.notsodaily.com/2013/04/team-up-swimp-thangno t-so-daily-summer.html More

Posted by thedanielj at 19:00 on 01 April 2013 | Report This Post

RE: yaaawn
The CGI zombies look terrible in the trailer - the rest looks actually quite good - but not the zombies. I'm also not sure how you can make a PG-13 film that involved zombies, that's just ridiculous. I'm disappointed in this preview from Empire too. I'd rather they talk about what they thought of the footage rather than hear about what was in it. Did they enjoy it, did it look like a hit or a miss? More

Posted by jmebaby25 at 08:32 on 30 March 2013 | Report This Post

yaaawn
siiigh..yet another kiddi-fication of an adult story just to get more bums on seat. ..but judging by the terribley unconvincing cartoony cgi leaping zombies seen in the trailer, people are going to stay away in droves More

Posted by DickJones at 01:53 on 30 March 2013 | Report This Post

PG-13 for a Zombie Flick....Jeeze
Zombies without gore is like the terminator without guns. Just doesn't work in my eyes and no amount of tumbling and stumbling hordes of zombies will ever change my mind. May watch out of curiosity when it's in the bargin bin at your local supermarket. Prove me wrong please More

Posted by klepto4 at 16:05 on 29 March 2013 | Report This Post

PG-13??????
WTF, I hope that certificate was just for the trailer. This sounds more like a prequel to 'I am Legend'. I'm going to stick to the TV and 'The Walking Dead' More

Posted by rissole at 10:25 on 29 March 2013 | Report This Post

Nope
As someone who's read the book twice I can't even get excited by this very, very loose adaption, they seem to have binned the books narrative for a predictable race against time thriller. The PG-13 rating also concerns me, how is it even going to be an effective Zombie movie if its aiming to pull in the kids, obviously a decision to recoup costs. The the fact no mention was given to Brad Pitts on set arguments with Forster. And finally... Why the fuck do the Zombies run ! More

Posted by johnsteel1 at 10:22 on 29 March 2013 | Report This Post

On the Fence
I think the film looks good and i I'm looking forward to seeing it, but it is not WWZ More

Posted by Cal_Bob at 10:02 on 29 March 2013 | Report This Post


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The X-Men TV Series: 10 Possible Plotlines
Mutants on a budget? We suggest some ideas for Fox’s new franchise extension

10 Kid-Friendly Marvel Comics That Could Be The Next Big Hero 6
Walt Disney Animation Studios have a lot to play with elsewhere in the Marvelverse

20 Sitcom Spin-Offs That Were Doomed To Fail
From Joey to Ally and back again…

Jessica Chastain Takes The IMDbunker
The Most Violent Year star takes our most random quiz

Five Impressive Oscar Isaac Roles You Didn't Realise Were Oscar Isaac
Welcome to Oscar season...

Fables: A Primer
An introduction to Bill Willingham’s wonderfully dark fairy-tale world

12 Hitchcock Remakes Ranked From Best To Worst
Lifeboat in space, anyone?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)