Paramount Looking For Co-Financiers To Save Marc Forster's 'World War Z' With Brad Pitt?

by Simon Dang
March 22, 2011 1:21 AM
4 Comments
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Last we heard, the Hollywood adaptation of Max Brooks' acclaimed zombie-horror novel "World War Z" had Marc Forster at the helm with Brad Pitt set to star and produce. but little on that front has been heard for quite some time.

Vulture now reports that the project, whose budget is touted at $125 million, is in danger of falling apart unless Paramount can find a co-financier to share the load. Their number one target? None other than David Ellison (yes, brother to our favorite heiress, Megan) who is being chased along with another unnamed investor in an "eleventh hour effort" -- which certainly doesn't sound optimistic.

The Black List approved script for 'Z' by J. Michael Straczynski (with rewrites by Matthew Michael Carnahan) centers on a UN bureaucrat named Gerry Lane, who in the aftermath of the zombie war is asked to compile a complete report on the incident. Our fellow writer read the script and praised the "smart structure that keeps the nature of the book intact [which] should manage to separate the finished film from the omnipresent likes of 'Resident Evil' and 'Survival of the Dead.'"

It definitely sounds like an intriguing adaptation and a seemingly perfect fit for the recent zombie fad. Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman responded to the claims noting that it was too early to tell whether a lack of co-financiers would ankle the project but asserted that the studio are "committed to making a big, kick-ass giant movie with Marc Forster and Brad Pitt." Vulture, though, present Guillermo Del Toro's struggles with "At The Mountain Of Madness" as a case for recent studio reluctance to back big-budgeted projects.

On the plus side? Forster has a deal to deliver a PG-13 rating which should make the studio -- and the open Ellison checkbook of late -- happy. In a matter of weeks, Megan has committed to financially backing a number of projects including a new Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze collaboration as well as Paul Thomas Anderson's untitled Scientology film and his "Inherent Vice" adaptation, while David already has a strong relationship with Paramount through his Skydance Productions who have backed various projects from the studio including "True Grit," "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," the upcoming Seth Rogen-Barbara Streisand teaming in "My Mother's Curse" and an untitled collaboration between Shane Salerno, Alex Kurtzmann and Roberto Orci. Surely another $60 million or so won't hurt?

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More: Films, Actors, Marc Forster, World War Z

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4 Comments

  • Xian | March 24, 2011 6:33 AMReply

    PG-13 simply kills my interest in this project... Good book, great concept, but even AMC's "Walking Dead" ventures into R-territory with its abrupt violence and creative gore. Must everything be made for children these days? Sheesh.

  • Smash Tit-house | March 22, 2011 6:16 AMReply

    i completely agree with TheoC. Unless they're shooting the biggest action scenes from the book (and the three drafts of the script that I've read don't exactly cover those topics) there is no goddamn reason for that kind of budget. Hell, every version of the script (from 3 separate writers) hews far more close to the personal story of the narrator than the globe and years spanning tales of the book.
    there was a time when i was very much pulling for this, but now AMC is doing such a great job with The Walking Dead, that I'd rather Paramount sit on this one until they get it right instead of rushing to get it out before the zombie craze dies again.

  • TheoC | March 22, 2011 5:09 AMReply

    No idea why this should be so expensive, unless they got for the full o siege of Yonkers etc. Love this book but would not be against seeing it made on a smaller budget. The teaser trailer for district 9 personally hit the tone any world war z movie should be going for.

  • Sid | March 22, 2011 4:36 AMReply

    Hopefully this delay gets Forster off the project for good. Have the producers seen the wretched Quantum of Solace? Unwatchable action sequences galore.

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