A lot of planning went into this.
After a grueling production schedule and the obligatory promotional press rounds, not to mention the six additional months of reshoots and post-post-production, Brad Pitt’s movie for the masses, World War Z finally hits theatres tomorrow. In an interview with USA Today, Pitt talked about the process of making what is likely his biggest movie to date (as a producer, at least.) Surprise, surprise, if you were expecting the actor/producer to complain about the tedium of reshoots or creating a whole new ending, you’d be wrong. It turns out Pitt enjoyed that part of the creative process the most. "I've really enjoyed especially this last six months, getting back in there and fixing it,” he explained for the website.
Apparently all the tweaking and minor changes were extremely deliberate, as was everything else in the film, based off the eponymous Max Brooks novel. It sounds like a fairly ordinary zombie tale – former UN inverstigator is forced to leave the wife and kids (how very 1940s) to go and fight the global pandemic. Even the protagonist’s name – Gerry Lane – sounds wholly unremarkable. But that’s the whole point – according to Pitt, his character is meant to be the relatable, reluctant hero. "Gerry Lane," Says Pitt. "One of the worst names in film ever. It was appropriate. I don't know why it's appropriate. Gerry with a 'G'. He's the anti-action hero. It's an anti-action hero name."
He does fit the film’s mood though, which, while it features its due amount of shocks and schlock, doesn’t rely on that for its thrills. Not according to the actor. Instead, it’s all about slow and deliberate buildup, playing on the thriller aspects of the classic zombie story. "We're dealing with a genre that's been pretty well mined and done really well," says Pitt, whose zombies borrow from the movements of Malaysian bees, docile until triggered into a swarm. "We're not the gore of The Walking Dead. Ours operates more of as a thriller. Ours is really intense." Whether authorial intent will translate to the final product, remains to be seen from the audience’s reaction.
Pitt partnered up with Mireille Enos on this one.