Thursday, March 24, 2011

Projection Booth: World War Z troubles...

News has been popping up in the past few days that the big wigs at Paramount are getting cold feet about sinking in the needed support to the Marc Forster( "Finding Neverland", "Monster's Ball") potentially helmed "World War Z". The adapted movie version of the bestselling oral history story by the same name written by Max Brooks. It's a masterpiece of zombie fiction that was written on the heels of Brooks' zombie killing guide "The Zombie Survival Guide". Its got Brad Pitt behind it in a producer capacity as well as attached to star in it which one would think would be more than enough to perk up and make this film happen. Instead Paramount is thinking of slashing the budget and not allow an "R" rated cut. I'm calling bullshit on Paramount's part.

The proposed $125 million budget needed to properly get this production up and rolling is being stifled by the fact that studios would rather sink short money on indie horror movies and that a great deal of big budget movies have flopped in the past few years such as "The Watchmen", "Grindhouse" even some the usually bankable rom coms are having trouble, take the James L. Brooks' (no relation to Max) "How Do You Know" which had a similar budget even though that was mostly for the high paid cast.

The studio reportedly wants "World War Z" to be delivered as a PG-13 cut which if you have read the book then you would know it would be as useless as a limp dick at an orgy. The zombie war movie has atleast one battle of epic proportions. If any movie needed to be bathed in gore it would be this one. How exactly do you kill a zombie? Destroy the BRAIN... which means lots and lots of exploding heads in creative ways. No possible way to accomplish The Battle of Yonkers for instance on a shoestring budget let alone in PG-13 fashion. I understand that PG-13 allows for more teens to get in without parent's permission BUT it loses all the edge and cache', plus despite my hatred for the "running zombies," or "fast zombies", the remake of "Dawn Of The Dead" did amazing at the box office and it was "R" rated.
Paramount HAD to know what they were getting themselves into when the optioned the rights to the book. If not they should get their head out of their asses... well either way sounds like they need removing their collective craniums from their nether regions if the reports fanning out over the internet.
With Zombies being "haute dish" in popular culture at the moment especially with the success of "The Walking Dead" on AMC, it is fucking ass backwards of Paramount not to strike while the iron is hot. If only someone had some balls in the higher echelon of the studio to see that sometimes great art comes with a price and even if they lost money in the short term, getting this film done proper will give it immortality and let it take on a life of its own for years to come.
If Paramount sticks to their guns and demands it to be a neutered PG-13 film it will alienate the die-hards and possibly draw a backlash hurting the box office returns either way. So why not display some big brass balls and go full bore into adapting this or just let the option lapse and then a studio with real pair on them will rescue it from a fate of similar fashion to "Ishtar" or "1941"
Please please please, do not ruin this masterpiece of modern day horror fiction by dumbing it down. I've worked at movie theaters and believe me, if those shitty "Saw" sequels could pack in the teen crowd then I am damn sure a properly done "World War Z" will pay for itself a few times over.
Paramount, you could even split the movie in two ala' "Kill Bill" and get twice the chance to hit the box office slot machine.
DO NOT FUCK THIS UP. From everything I've read and heard, if the script that exists in its current form is used, it has Oscar potential. Us horror lovers and gore-hounds have been salivating for a genre film with both buckets of blood and grey matter plus PRESTIGE to boot. And "Silence of the Lambs" wasn't true horror, atleast not in the sense to those of us who have multiple viewings of the Romero zombie films every year would call horror.

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