The Playlist

Marc Forster Won't Direct 'World War Z' Sequel, Kim Jee-Woon Lines Up New Project & More

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • October 3, 2013 9:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments
World War Z
By now, we all pretty much know about the struggles the filmmakers had while making “World War Z.” In spite of the fact that the film actually turned out to be a major success, initial reports of its “inevitable failure” hit everyone involved with the film pretty hard. The Hollywood Reporter has a very interesting piece about Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B (who made the film). The article goes into how criticism of the production of "World War Z" affected the producers involved, mentally, and they delve into how the surprise success of the film, along with the positive festival response of “12 Years a Slave” has left the company feeling pretty good about themselves.

The Best & Worst Of 'World War Z'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 24, 2013 4:36 PM
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  • 17 Comments
World War Z
The people have spoken, and they have said braaaaaaains. Brad Pitt’s would-be runaway monster of a zombie movie “World War Z” is a hit and coming in at #2 this past weekend with the highest opening of Pitt’s career. Bad buzz be damned, ‘WWZ’ overcame the odds, the drama, the negative media attention to come out a solid winner (though as history shows, not every troubled production gets a happy ending). Sure, with global costs that could reach $400 million, it might be impossible for ‘Z’ to break even, but at this point, let’s face it, the movie wasn’t a colossal bomb and Paramount is breathing a deep sigh of relief. In fact, if the movie keeps going and has legs then its mooted sequel may not be in doubt, even if the movie can’t break even (studios always throw good money after bad and once they’ve started an investment, they don’t like to just chop it off at the wrist because it bled a little). And so, the final verdict on the Marc Forster-directed “World War Z” after everything that went down? Well, it’s pretty terrific in spots, ok in others, a little clunky at times and pretty problematic if you’re looking at it discerningly (you can read our original review here). But put it this way: it’s nowhere near the disaster we were lead to believe it might be. If you’re looking at it from a pure thrill ride perspective, “World War Z” is likely going to win, but as usual, we thought we’d drill down a little deeper and deconstruct the elements that are great, the ones that are so-so and the ones that weren’t so great. Or the “Best & Worst Of World War Z” for the sake of clean communication. Our thoughts below.

Review: 'World War Z' Starring Brad Pitt

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 7, 2013 8:56 AM
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  • 23 Comments
"World War Z" was always going to be a difficult nut to crack. The book of the same name, by son-of-Mel Max Brooks, was a bestseller a few years back, and a somewhat atypical one; a brainy, grim faux oral history of a zombie apocalypse that wiped out most of the world's population. It made enough of a dent in pop culture to warrant a movie adaptation, but it wasn't going to be an easy translation with no main character and a documentary-like format. So it's no surprise that the film was several years in development, and that even once filming got underway, it had one of the more publicly troubled shoots in memory, with reports flying of budget overages, script triage and extensive pick ups.

Review: 'Machine Gun Preacher' Is Essentially A Botched 'Rambo'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 22, 2011 6:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The following is a reprint of our review that ran during the 2011 Toronto Film Festival.

Marc Forster Talks 'World War Z' 'Quantum of Solace' & The Risk Of Failure

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • September 13, 2011 11:40 AM
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  • 3 Comments
We love a chameleon here at The Playlist; few things make us happier than a director who's able to leap between genres and style with aplomb. And Swiss-born director Marc Forster is, if nothing else, a chameleon. In the decade since he broke through in the U.S. with "Monster's Ball," the helmer has tackled grim drama, charming period biopics, supernatural thrillers, quirky comedy and tentpole actioners, to name but a few. Some worked, some didn't, but he's not likely to be predictable any time soon.

TIFF '11 Review: 'Machine Gun Preacher' Is Essentially A Botched 'Rambo'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 12, 2011 5:15 AM
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  • 15 Comments
In 2008’s blitzkrieg actioner “Rambo,” writer-director Sylvester Stallone recognized the real-life struggles of the people of Myanmar, dramatizing the struggle in a blood-drenched exploitation film that, despite its inelegance, emboldened the people of that region while lionizing a fictional hero of guerilla warfare. The problem with “Machine Gun Preacher,” Marc Forster’s third world drama about a real-life would-be savior who ventured into the Sudan and attempted to build an orphanage with sheer will and a smidgen of gunpower, is that it’s afraid to be “Rambo.”

Marc Forster Talks The Perils Of The "White Man Saves Africa" Story With 'Machine Gun Preacher'

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • September 10, 2011 3:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Judging by his filmography since his 2001 breakthrough “Monster’s Ball,” director Marc Forster seems unwilling, if not incapable, of repeating himself. That film’s soul-baring drama offered no hints at the delicate beauty of his follow-up, “Finding Neverland,” and neither film suggested he was capable of the melancholy whimsy of “Stranger Than Fiction,” or later, the visceral intensity of “Quantum of Solace.” In his latest film, “Machine Gun Preacher,” Forster tackles the life of Sam Childers (played by Gerard Butler), a former ne’er-do-well who finds God but who falls back into his violent ways after taking on the responsibility of protecting orphaned children in Sudan.

Relativity Buys 'Machine Gun Preacher' From Lionsgate In Hopes Of Getting Gerard Butler An Oscar Nom

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 15, 2011 1:19 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Considering his run of recent performances... actually, let's strike that and start again. Considering almost every performance he's ever given, ever, perhaps bar a decent vocal turn in "How To Train Your Dragon," the idea of Gerard Butler as a potential Oscar nominee is a bizarre one: this is, after all, the man who, in films like "Law Abiding Citizen," "The Ugly Truth" and "The Bounty Hunter" has give some of the most wretched bits of acting in recent memory, and whose signature role is still King Shouty in "300." But before the just-starting-to-gear-up awards season kicks off, it's something that we could possibly end up seeing.

'Rubicon' Star James Badge Dale Circling Role Alongside Brad Pitt In 'World War Z'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 11, 2011 1:14 AM
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  • 6 Comments
James Badge Dale might not be a name that's immediately familiar to you, but increasingly, it's a face that you'll recognize: the actor had key roles on "24" (as Jack Bauer's sidekick Chase) and in "The Departed" (as the bent copper who pops Leo in the head at the end), before landing two big leads last year, on HBO's "The Pacific" and AMC's "Rubicon," proving to be an intense, yet likable presence.

David Ellison's Skydance May Help Save Brad Pitt & Marc Forster's 'World War Z'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 29, 2011 7:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Film Might Shoot As Early As JuneLast we heard on the long-gestating zombie pic "World War Z" -- set to star Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster -- word wasn't good. The $125 million film was said to be in danger of getting folded as Paramount was having difficulty in getting backers for the very expensive genre film. And certainly, after the financial underperformers of films like "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and more recently "Sucker Punch" around Hollywood, studios are getting more wary of footing the bill themselves for roll-of-the-dice fare that has niche appeal. But it looks like the film may have found a saviour in a name that is quickly rising as one of the eminent producers around Hollywood.

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