Book Review: WORLD WAR Z – THE ART OF THE FILM

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World War Z had a lot of negative press before it hit screens this summer. The screen adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel underwent extensive reshoots, which many thought was a sure sign that it was going to be a disaster. However, the film went on to surpass expectations at the box office and its well on its way to recouping its $190 million budget (a sequel is in development).

It was unlikely that we were never going to get a traditional making-of tie-in publication because of the behind the scenes shenanigans. However, interestingly enough, we do get World War Z – The Art Of The Film, which features the film’s shooting script (sorry guys, it doesn’t feature the original final act).

Matthew Michael Carnahan , Drew Goddard , Damon Lindelof screenplay is an interesting read, and it charts the journey of Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt in the movie) as he struggles to help his family survive following the outbreak of a zombie pandemic. It’s pretty thrilling stuff, and the story is cohesive – despite the famed rewrites.

The screenplay is accompanied by some very impressive concept art, stills and storyboards, which should interest fans of the movie and cinema in general. It shows the sheer detail that has gone into creating this global zombie tale, a horror sub-genre that is usually small-scale. And it’s always fun to see how they pull-off ‘movie magic’ like turning Glasgow city centre into New York.

Suffice to say that anyone who hasn’t seen World War Z may want to read World War Z – The Art Of The Film, after they have seen director Marc Forster’s film. Although, it’s always good to compare your own mind’s-eye vision to that which finally makes it to the screen. Screenplay enthusiasts will also get a lot out of the book. Writing action is an interesting skill, and Carnahan, Goddard and Lindelof have done good job of that here. Having said that, the character development is a bit heavy handed, with Gerry turning from pancake making stay at home dad to fearless zombie slayer.

World War Z – The Art Of The Film has a lot to recommend, it’s an enjoyable screenplay with enough high-octane moments to want you to keep reading. It’s always interesting to read the screenplay of big-budget summer films to see how it compares to the final product. Blockbusters are often seen as having lesser scripts than other films and seeing the source material is like taking a peek behind the curtain of the cinematic Emerald City.

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