By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood April 1, 2013 at 2:54PM
As if "World War Z" hasn't already stomached enough production turmoil. News broke earlier today that Paramount executives have changed a minor plot point in the film that involves China, so that Chinese officials might look more favorably on the film for domestic distribution in the fast-rising Chinese market.
The scene reportedly involves characters questioning the origin of the zombie outbreak, and China comes up as a potential culprit of the pandemic. Per TheWrap, the studio advised to have the mention deleted.
Star Brad Pitt has had a rocky film relationship with China, as his 1997 film "Seven Years in Tibet," and his portrayal of the Dalai Lama's Austrian tutor, may have had him banned from the country upon its release.
The second trailer for "World War Z" is below. For those mourning the end of the latest season of "Walking Dead" on AMC, the troubled zombiepocalypse production stars Pitt as a concerned family man trying to get to the bottom of a potentially world-ending breakout (Russia and a CIA cover-up may be involved). There's plenty of air-born zombie action in the trailer, with helicopters and a commercial plane at the mercy of the undead. Watch below.
Paramount's "World War Z" is one of a number of tentpole films plagued by production issues, with a seven-week re-shoot, a re-write of the movie's third act, and a rumored fight between Pitt and director Marc Forster ("Quantum of Solace") in the mix. That original $125 million budget is ancient history.
Pitt is a globally bankable star who has managed better than most to balance full-pay studio pictures with art films he does for cred-- without sullying his reputation with all-out crap. The trick is to be able to emerge from a studio flop unscathed, as he did with "Troy" in 2004. We shall see where "World War Z" takes him.
Paramount has finally slated the film, which co-stars Mireille Enos ("The Killing"), for a June 21 release.