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Paramount Enlists More Screenwriting Reinforcements To End Costly WORLD WAR Z!

Published at: July 11, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST by AICNStaff

Beaks here...

This is some potential good news on Paramount's panicked rewrite of the WORLD WAR Z finale: while Damon Lindelof was brought in to "crack" the ending, Deadline is reporting that the actual writing chores were handed over to Drew Goddard, who dazzled us earlier this year with the excellent CABIN IN THE WOODS. So the Marc Forster-directed (loose) adaptation of Max Brooks's novel might finally be on the mend almost a year after the production wrapped principal photography!

Or not! There's also talk Paramount would like Christopher McQuarrie to punch up Goddard's ending, but he might not be available on acount of becoming Tom Cruise's new Robert Towne (they're both moving on to Doug Liman's ALL YOU NEED IS KILL). So then what? My modest proposal: stick with what Goddard gives you, 'cuz he's good. Brad Grey's proposal: I'm due for an George-Segal-at-the-end-of-CALIFORNIA-SPLIT run, so back off.

In any event, it's hard to argue that Paramount didn't know exactly what they wanted from a WORLD WAR Z movie when they greenlit it. I mean, pair this with the schedule-shuffling confidence behind G.I. JOE RETALIATION, and you've got a portrait of a studio that knows what it wants, fucks up what it wants, then bleeds out countless millions of dollars trying to end up with something semi-releasable. This is how you run a studio.

Readers Talkback

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  • July 11, 2012, 1:17 p.m. CST

    A dog of a book

    by catlettuce4

  • July 11, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Trouble...

    by Mennen

  • July 11, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST

    I wanna see cabin in the woods really badly

    by Jackson

  • July 11, 2012, 1:22 p.m. CST

    This is how you run a studio....

    by SayNoToRemakes

    ....into the ground...

  • July 11, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST

    I might rent this movie

    by Scorchy

    From a library. For free. Because I'm not paying for it. This has disaster written all o'er it.

  • July 11, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Fucking IDIOTS! THE BOOK WROTE ITSELF!

    by Judge Briggs

    FUCKING ART-TARDS... JUST USE THE FUCKING BOOK! THAT'S ALL WE WANTED! OR ADAPT IT TO HBO!!! Talk about shooting themselves in the foot!

  • July 11, 2012, 1:27 p.m. CST

    End as in... put it out of its misery?

    by Bruce of all Trades

    Because that sounds like what this movie needs.

  • July 11, 2012, 1:28 p.m. CST

    How is Damon Lindelof good news?

    by Volllllume3

    What the fuck? Oh and fuck this piece of shit PG-13 cashgrab. It deserves all the misery it gets.

  • July 11, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Good grief.

    by Buck_Futt

    I'm with judge briggs, all they had to do was cull the book's vingettes down to two hours worth of screen time, add a framing device, and shoot it. This ain't rocket surgery.

  • July 11, 2012, 1:31 p.m. CST

    so lindelof's gonna add a load of

    by JAMF

    unneccessary shit in there, alluding to what made everyone turn into zombies, which will be answered in the sequel. i mean, prequel. then after that we get a reboot with superfast zombies, for the kids. or maybe vampires.

  • July 11, 2012, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Nice California Split shout-out

    by Dr Lizardo

    Now there's a movie that needs a home video release, pronto.

  • July 11, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    nvrmnd, just spotted it on Amazon Instant

    by Dr Lizardo

  • July 11, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST

    So someone please explain Marc Forsters input in this is.....

    by D o o d

    he directed but the studio are clearly unhappy with it. So does that mean he totally fucked up the movie? what the hells going on..?

  • July 11, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST

    They're rewriting the ending because...

    by JudeNWM

    the movie needs more Tatum.

  • July 11, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Dismayed, not surprised.

    by DrMeyer

    They had a good script when they started; I've known Joe Straczynski for years, and he did the script. Marc Forster wanted more action, or some ass clown at Paramount did. They went in and did patchy rewrites, now there's a problem in act 3 that started in act 1 because somebody didn't know what they were doing, and I can tell ya now, it wasn't Joe Straczynski!

  • July 11, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    There will be a Director change at some point

    by cock smoker

    This has gone from bad to worse. Do they bring in Ratner to save the day?

  • July 11, 2012, 1:49 p.m. CST

    World War Z

    by Cory849

    More like World War Zzzzzzzzzzzz Amirite?

  • July 11, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    What you don't understand is

    by dznutzforu

    MOST people don't know all this crap like we do. Most people don't even know that movies are coming out until they see the trailer for them at the movie theater. Only people like us get worried about stuff like this. When the trailer begins...and it's about zombies...and it stars the biggest actor in the world...people will go see it. If it sucks, it won't do well. If it's good, it will. I quote Vic Vega. "Either he's alive or dead...or the cops got him...or they don't" Sorry, but I've never been big on production notes about upcoming projects, especially when I have no idea what's bs and what isn't. Judge the final product for what it is...if it ever comes out ;)

  • July 11, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    This is how you ruin a studio.

    by ATARI

    Fixed that for you.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Why do studios feel the need to do this

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Remeber the moneypits of The Invasion and The Wolfman. Two films that were done, and then the studios decided to due extensive reshoots, and then when they were released, they flopped big time, and the flops were made worse by the fact that tons of money was spent on reshoots.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    John Carter's problem wasn't the screenplay

    by Samuel Fulmer

    The problem was it was a niche film that had a 250+ million dollar budget.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Dznutzforu has it 100% right...

    by Big Dumb Ape

    The average person out there, who will make up the overwhelming bulk of audience that will race out to see this thing opening weekend at their local multiplex, don't give a shit about this stuff. Only film wonks like us do. He's right -- the general public only STARTS to care when they see an official trailer, at which point they either like it or hate it, and make a mental note to put it on their "see" list or "ignore" list. And if it stars someone like Brad Pitt (or some star that they like) all the better. Which means that, frankly, if the average person heard that Paramount was tossing gobs of money WORLD WAR Z in order to reshoot the ending, they would probably think "Good. I hope that means they're ADDING more explosions or action and having Pitt killing even MORE zombies! 'Cause THAT shit I wanna see!" On the other hand, speaking AS a film wonk, this stuff always does crack me up that studios get the ball rolling and only then...once the thing is well, well along...do they suddenly seem to snap out of some daze and say "Oh wait. This is gonna end HOW? Shit, where was I? Was I asleep or on drugs or something? We gotta change THAT." So as for WORLD WAR Z, you had a hit book to give you a detailed blueprint and yet, for some reason, these morons couldn't figure out how to end the movie. Then again, anyone here who has ever actually dealt with a studio... or gone in and actually pitched to these "creative development" heads or agents... can attest to the fact that an overwhelming number of these people seriously have NO clue as to what the fuck they're doing or talking about. Which is why I'm never surprised when a movie turns out to be incredibly average or downright shitty, and you're more amazed that it came out the other end ACTUALLY being okay.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    World War Z? Sounds more like World War "F".

    by Mike McCutcheon

  • Sat in the can for a while, then direct to video. That movie was such a straming pile of shit. Nick Cannon gave me douche chills and Ving Rames was really slumming for a paycheck with that one. Might be interesting to see how Brad Pitt distances himself from this after it being a "passion project" for him the last few years.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:32 p.m. CST

    protip

    by Party_Animal_IV

    Tip to film studios: Complete movie script BEFORE wrapping principal photography. Just an idea you may want to try out.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Brad Pitt passion projects

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Well Moneyball turned out okay and that had a shakey production, so who knows. Of course that movie had it's problems (Soderberg leaving, script revisions) before cameras started rolling, not after, plus it cost a lot less to make.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:41 p.m. CST

    This is not going to end well.

    by Yelsaeb

    That is all.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Don't worry, everything's going to be all right

    by Wanda Tinasky

    So says the doc at the beginning of the book, so says Paramount.

  • Have you seen LOST?

  • July 11, 2012, 3:21 p.m. CST

    They'll probably write a book someday about this movie's production woes.

    by Mr. Pricklepants

  • July 11, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Of course, 99% of you will see it anyway

    by Kytas

    Sigh. And so will I.

  • July 11, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Can't make this into a simple movie.

    by JediWuddayaknow

    The book is written like a documentary. Ken Burns-ing the shit out of this one is the only way to go. Unfortunately, nobody would finance that.

  • July 11, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Id rather spend $25 on...

    by IamHERE

    Arma II new zombie mod called DayZ. Its a unique and very realistic survival horror mod, stressing SURVIVAL!! You can be killed by friendly fire from other online players or the very smart AI zombies that track with smell and sound. You can also die from starvation and dehydration, shock, infections, and break bones. check out this video. You need to buy Arma II and its expansion pack, which on the software companies website they sell for $25 bundled, and the mod is a free download. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOB7YGgREFg

  • July 11, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST

    I have an idea for the end. JUST LET IT FINISH.

    by jellypop

    You don't need a million screenwriters to put more into this. There should be enough talent on the production team to sort this out from the correct perspective.

  • July 11, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Troubled Productions

    by cenobiteme

    I don't think you can judge a film on it's production woes as so many great films had really tough shoots that went way over schedule and way over budget. To name a few: Jaws, Star Wars, and Blade Runner.

  • July 11, 2012, 4:11 p.m. CST

    World War Fuck This Shit In The Ass

    by F This

    What a fucking train wreck.

  • July 11, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Why didn't they just...?

    by ghost_matt

    ...film the original script? I remember reading a review of the script on this site like 2 years ago saying they nailed it and this may be the first zombie movie ever to be nominated for an Oscar. I was really looking forward to this movie. Then about a year ago I found out they weren't using that script, Brad Pitt was now "trying to find a cure", and the zombies run. Now I'm not really looking forward to this movie at all. Why didn't they just stick with what they had?

  • I knew we, as fans, were fucked. Everything that has happened since has reenforced my belief in this. The should have taken Straczynski's script and gone with that. Apparently there is not one actual scene from the book in the final product prior to reshoots.

  • Throw a bunch of different writers at the problem and pray that one of them can figure out how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The major difference is that with Alien³ it seemed that they were still writing the script and tweaking the plot during principal photography. On WWZ it seems they had a script then completely changed their minds as to what the fucking plot should be, all of course after production. So now they are going to reshoot the ending and maybe other scenes? The real tragedy is that the JM Straczynski script was actually really good. As a fan of the book, I was surprised that someone was able to take the massive scale of WWZ and fit it into the mold of a two hour movie format and still keep a lot of the details and most importantly the overall themes and spirit of the book. And then they throw that out? Why did the producers of this film want WWZ in the first place then? Oh yeah, brand recognition and all that BS. That way they can blame anyone but themselves if the film is a failure.

  • Gee, I wonder why that didn't work out? Ah, Hollywood, you are a clusterfuck of ineptitude wrapped in a blanket of unintelligible shit sometimes.

  • July 11, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Lord, here come the Lindleof LOST-ending jokes. Again.

    by D.Vader

    Face palm.

  • July 11, 2012, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Can't wait for the BluRay

    by maxjohnson1971

    So we can see all the original stuff that got reshot or cut or whatever. Maybe they can have competing Excorcist movies like we got a few years ago. Which means WWZ will crash and burn. Sadly.

  • July 11, 2012, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Sounds like Paramount is quickly becoming the new Fox.

    by thedarklinglord

    And that's some seriously fucked up shit right there.

  • July 11, 2012, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Spoiler: Brad Pitt destroys the zombie mothership

    by Andrew

    and all the zombies around the world drop instantly.

  • I kid, I kid. I love Cabin the Woods & his Lost-penned episodes. But the Cloverfield writing is ... let's just go with "not a highlight."

  • As long as you make the movie 90% green screen cgi and slap a coat of 3-D on it, it'll make money.

  • July 11, 2012, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Arent we forgetting another problem, with this film...

    by Tristan

    The movie is PG-13! A fucking zombie movie. Would you say, The Walking Dead has PG-13 violence? Shit, shouldve had Max Brooks write the screenplay. Hey, i know...Lindelof should write a sequel to "Adaptation", where he tries to write the ending to the WWZ script...

  • The guy's got Fincher, Soderbergh and The Coens on speed dial. Why would he be involved with a project that appears to be directionless, particularly his next project after the extremely well reviewed Moneyball? Surely his star and producer power would be enough to drag this one out of the sh*t? I don't really rate the guy as an actor but he certainly has great taste. This mess of a production would usually star someone like Ryan Reynolds or Chris Evans, Eric Bana even but Pitt? Hollywood Royalty? Having his project picked to pieces by the likes of Lindeloff? He can't have been the one that said "let's get the guy who has no clue how to tie up a movie in to tie up our movie."

  • July 11, 2012, 9:01 p.m. CST

    sigh

    by ghoulstock

    the best way to have adapted that book was to do it as a faux Ken Burns style documentary, with talking heads and "recreations" of what happened. That would've been cool and it would've been something different. But no, instead we get this watered down bullshit. whatever.

  • July 11, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Can't figure out the end?!

    by JackSack

    Really?! I would think the problem would be assembling the rest of the book into a narrative that resembles a standard Hollywood feature film. The ending is the easy part, usually this is the big riddle in most Zombie projects; but here its spelled out in black & white. Maybe the guys at Paramount should try reading the source material for a change. Hell, I could write the ending for them. This book would have made a terrific spring board for a TV series that was like Twilight Zone, Amazing Stories and Outer Limits. Different stories every week set in this "world", but, with a progressing storyline. Hell, put it on when Walking Dead is on hiatus and you could rake in the money.

  • July 11, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Remember when zombies were cool?

    by MooseMalloy

    You know, before TWD tv show.

  • July 12, 2012, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a clusterfuck...typical

    by ElPalabraUltimo

    I had a feeling they'd fuck it up right from the start...it's just to big to pull off properly. In the meantime, someone ought to make this into a movie, or at least stage it: http://www.amazon.com/Hamlet-Z-ebook/dp/B006ZBGBR4 Course, they'd probably fuck that up too. I'm tired of books I like getting shit on. (The exception, at least in my opinion, being Lord of the Rings and, hopefully, the Hobbit.)

  • July 12, 2012, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Damon Lindelof brought in to FIX the ending?

    by onezeroone

    Am I in some alternate Bizzaroverse or something? Lindelof can set things up with big ideas pretty well but can't write an ending to save his life. Heck, I'd take Stephen King's endings over Lindelof any day, and that is saying a lot.

  • July 12, 2012, 2:22 a.m. CST

    The documentary will be called "Lost in LaMancBRAAAIIIINNNSSS!!!!"

    by Arcadian Del Sol

  • July 12, 2012, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Iceberg dead ahead!

    by SunTzu77

    Wow, there are so many warning lights flashing about this production... holy shit.

  • July 12, 2012, 4:44 a.m. CST

    McQuarrie...

    by SunTzu77

    McQuarrie is a good choice.... JC Chandor might be an "out of the box" choice for his solid dialogue and structure.... Peter Straughan... Joe Penhall.

  • July 12, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    there's nothing more entertaining than seeing something go bad

    by chien_sale

    That can be a Hell of a Good show!

  • July 13, 2012, 3:24 p.m. CST

    This movie is fucked.

    by Mr. Pricklepants