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'World War Z' Lurches Through Production Problems

Major production problems for movies is nothing rare.  Men In Black 3 is the most recent example, and now we have one more example to add to the "production hell" list: World War Z starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster.  News of behind-the-scenes trouble for the Zombie Apocalypse thriller has leaked out before, but now we have some news about what has specifically gone wrong.  At least, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Here's what's making it bleed:

-Even after extensive reshoots, a new writer has been brought to to do a quick rewrite of the entire third act which will require another five weeks of complex reshoots.

-Marc Forster's lack of big-budget experience caused the studio to bring crew-members that Forster didn't want, leading to in-fighting.  The whole fiasco led one insider to remark “The director was not empowered. There was nobody that steered the ship. … When you get [a director] who can’t do it all … you get a struggle as to whose is the singular voice.”

-Legendary Cinematographer Robert Richardson (Inglourious Basterds, Hugo), in particular, has problems with Forster. Reportly, he responded to Forster's lack of control by trying to take control of the set himself, and later attempted to leave the production completely.

When news of this broke, Paramount film group president Adam Goodman said, "The footage from this film looks fantastic, but we all agreed it can have a better ending. Getting the ending correct is essential, and we are in that creative process. World War Z is a giant summer movie and we are confident it will be a global hit when it’s released June 2013."

While this might not be the kind of thing that inspires confidence, this isn't a nail in the final film's coffin.  Both Jaws and Apocalypse Now almost collapsed during filming, but now they're thought of as classics.  Here's hoping the studio is able to hammer something workable out of the project.

Reader Comments (1)

The stories of THOSE movie's travails are - and even HAVE - been made into movies of their own. This movie's problems don't seem to be anywhere near the legendary status of those debacles turned triumph. Still though, it makes one look at the writer and director's previous work and question the connection to those better efforts and the current problems on the current production.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ.A.Bradley

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