World War Z Forster Pitt

Brad Pitt and Marc Forster‘s long-discussed global zombie adaptation, World War Z, is finally hitting theaters this weekend. After a production marred in controversy, Paramount paid for massive rewrites and reshoots to (hopefully) save the movie. The story goes that, during editing, no one was happy with how the film ended. Executives decided that, instead of presumptuously building the film towards a sequel, it would be more beneficial to rein it back and complete a single story.

Screenwriters Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) and Damon Lindelof (Lost) were recruited to help and, according to early reviews, the pair at the very least saved the movie from disaster. In fact, some people believe they helped make it a really good movie. You can decide for yourself June 21.

Below, read exactly what Lindelof and Goddard did to improve the film, spoiler free.

The Huffington Post reports on the changes. Everything referenced below is in the trailers, so there are no spoilers here. Still, if you don’t want any hints about how the film plays out, probably best not to continue reading.

We know Lindelof and Goddard completely rewrote the third act of the film. It’s a third act, incidentally, that has not even been hinted at in any of the trailers. However, the “dividing line,” according to HuffPo, was the instant Pitt’s character gets on a plane in Israel. Yes, the very same plane we see at the end of the latest trailer. That was all completely conceived and shot to set up the new final act. Also, Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) was apparently brought in to do a polish as well.

The bigger revelation is Lindelof and Goddard also wrote new scenes that take place at other parts of the movie. For example, two early scenes with the family in bed and in the kitchen were not in the original cut of the film. They now add a deeper emotional connection to the family that’ll be Pitt’s reason for helping stop the zombies. Later, a scene in an RV on the side of the road and a phone call from Pitt back home to his wife were also added.

World War Z isn’t a masterpiece, but it works and these scenes are a big part of its success.

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