By Benjamin Wright | The Playlist July 25, 2011 at 2:59AM
Brad Pitt is an actor who's in league with somebody like George Clooney: a name that can help get the films he wants to be in get made.
With both acting and producing credits on Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," and more adult-oriented fare like "Moneyball" and "Cogan's Trade" still on the way, Pitt is an actor who can mostly avoid doing mainstream fluff like "Mr. And Mrs. Smith" nowadays. That's why it's curious that an adaptation of Max Brooks' best-selling novel "World War Z," whose zombie plot sounds like a no brainer for studios, has been such a hassle to get made since Pitt's production company Plan B acquired it way back in 2007. When Pitt attached his name, others became interested, and the film even earned itself an acclaimed director in Marc Forster. While other top talent like Matthew Fox and Ed Harris passed through the film's doors, none of them seemed to stick by Pitt's side. This could have been for the best, because now the film is boasting an impressive ensemble cast of new faces.
It would appear that Forster and Pitt are looking to give audiences a fresh batch of talent when the film debuts in 2012. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Elyes Gabel, who may be better known from HBO's "Game of Thrones" as Rakharo, has been cast as the character Fassbach. Gabel will join a cast that already includes "The Killing" actress Mireille Enos and "Rubicon" and "The Pacific" player James Badge Dale.
This could have been an easy film to load up with a bunch of stars. Considering the film's post-apocalyptic zombie plot, they could have packed this with familiar faces in typical disaster movie form in order to ensure some derrieres in theater seats. It's nice to see a film with blockbuster potential that's taking a risk in going for the little guy, instead of picking the talent who'll be looking for back end box office points after the fact.
Now we just have to wait and see if Forster, who most recently did the mediocre Bond film "Quantum of Solace," can apply this same sort of refreshing approach to his execution of "World War Z." Since after all, we're tired of seeing zombie films, television shows, and video games already.