Over at Movies.com Peter Hall has a tizzy over the plot of Brad Pitt's new vehicle, 'World War Z'. Seems the official synopsis released yesterday by Paramount describes Pitt's character, Gerry Lane, as being "...in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself."
Well, this ain't right, according to Hall (as well as others) who says, "He's not even a little bit of that. Not even a fraction." Okay, okay. Fine. What is he then?
According to Hall the protagonist of the novel is 'just a researcher trying to unearth facts'. And, that syncs what I've been able to find out. In the novel this guy goes around interviewing people who actually saw something worth talking about. And, that's what Hall is suggesting Brad Pitt's character do so that the movie remains faithful to the novel -- interview people.
Okay, if that were how the movie played out, if the adaptation was true to the original, instead this image:
That would be Lane (played by Pitt) traversing the globe (looks cold and dangerous) in a heroic effort to stop the zombie epidemic, we'd be watching a movie with Pitt/Lane sitting at a desk with a digital voice recorder interviewing some guy who actually saw a zombie attack go down. Pitt/Lane would be asking questions like, 'So, what happened next?' and the guy would start answering and we'd fade to a flashback of the scene he's describing with, not Pitt/Lane but this guy, fighting zombies, trying to escape from zombies, saving hot young women from zombie attacks and, in short, being the star of an action/horror movie while Pitt/Lane nods attentively and checks the battery level on his DVR. Then, Pitt/Lane would say 'Thanks', leave and go interview the next eyewitness who would paint another harrowing action-packed picture while Pitt/Lane nods. And nods.
Yeah. I can just see that. It would be a ridiculous movie and Brad Pitt would look like a tool. A fucking schmoe. Really, people would walk out. Maybe Peter Hall wouldn't walk out. Maybe hardcore fans of line-by-line unwaveringly accurate movie adaptations of novels wouldn't walk out (they'd be overjoyed). But...people. Regular joes. They'd walk the fuck out and demand their motherfucking money back.
Look at that subtitle: An oral history of the zombie war. (Wince). Do people really want to pay to see one of those? Yeah, they'd walk out.
In his headline Hall asks 'Why even call it World War Z at this point'? Well, that's the title of the best-selling novel and that's the main thing (besides Brad Pitt) which is going to get butts in seats. And, really, that's all Paramount cares about -- making a guaranteed cash cow zombie flick (with a huge star in the lead and an interchangeable factory-made-to-spec generic plot the average screenwriter could pull out of his ass over a weekend while drinking beer and playing video games) that
I get where these guys are coming from, but, you don't like it? Don't watch the movie. Re-read the book. Maybe make a movie about it called 'A Guy Re-Reads a Favorite Novel Instead of Watching a Woefully Inaccurate Movie Adaptation of It'. Spend millions on production and marketing, put it in theaters. It'll be a hit.