MTV had the opportunity to talk with J. Michael Straczynski about his upcoming adaptation of Max Brooks‘ World War Z. Straczynski says that it will be the first large scale zombie film.
“Most zombie movies to this point have been small, focusing on a few people in a house. And this has got real scare. You’re in India with hundreds of boats trying to get out of there with a tidal wave of zombies. The scale of what we’re doing here is phenomenal.”
Marc Forster recently signed on to direct, and Straczynski will be doing one more draft based on the filmmaker’s new notes. Straczynski calls the film “a thriller”, comparing it to the Bourne films. As cool as Straczynski makes the film sound, I’m a little nervous about the comparison to the Bourne movies, especially considering that Forster’s latest movie, Quantum of Solace, was heavily criticized for it’s disjointed action sequences.
AICN called Straczynski’s previous draft of the screenplay “a horror epic, a serious, sober-minded adult picture”, potentially “a genre-defining piece of work” with Best Picture potential (really?!). The basic premise of the book is that it is an oral history of the zombie war, compiled by an unnamed government employee. The movie follows this researcher, named Gerry Lane (possibly to be played by Brad Pitt, who is producing the project), as he travels the world conducting interviews with survivors, 10-years later. Forster told Variety that the story reminded him of “the paranoid conspiracy films of the ’70s like ‘All the President’s Men.”
The book was released in 2006, and is available on Amazon for $16.47. I’ve included the official plot description from the book after the jump:
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Paramount has hired Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster to helm World War Z, the big screen adaptation of Max Brooks bestselling novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. The 352 page book chronicles the aftermath of a great zombie-human war.
Changeling scribe J Michael Straczynski penned the screenplay, which AICN once called “a horror epic, a serious, sober-minded adult picture”, potentially “a genre-defining piece of work” with Best Picture potential (really?!). The basic premise of the book is that it is an oral history of the zombie war, compiled by an unnamed government employee. The movie follows this researcher, named Gerry Lane (possibly to be played by Brad Pitt, who is producing the project), as he travels the world conducting interviews with survivors, 10-years later. Forster told Variety that the story reminded him of “the paranoid conspiracy films of the ’70s like ‘All the President’s Men.”
The book was released in 2006, and is available on Amazon for $16.47. I’ve included the official plot description from the book below:
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”
Warner Bros has hired J. Michael Straczynski to write a remake of Forbidden Planet. The original saw a group of Earth scientists who are sent some 17 light years away to investigate what happened to a colony of settlers on Altair-4. They find a man with a secret and his daughter who somehow survived a hideous monster attack on their planet. Gene Roddenberry has noted that Fred Wilcox’s original 1956 sci-fi film was one of the inspirations for Star Trek.
Loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the movie was nominated for best special effects Oscar, and was noted for its groundbreaking use of an all-electronic score, and the first appearances of Robby the Robot and the C-57D starship (which was subsequently used in a number of productions, including the Twilight Zone’s “To Serve Man”). The movie’s poster was listed as the fifth best Movie Poster ever created by Premiere Magazine.
Straczynski is probably best known as the creator of Babylon 5, but in recent years he has transitioned into an A-list Hollywood writer. He wrote Clint Eastwood’s most recent film, Changeling, The Wachowski Brothers’ Ninja Assassin, and the big screen adaptation of World War Z. Many names have been attached to the project over the years including James Cameron. Joel Silver is producing the latest try.
Discuss: Do we really need a Forbidden Planet Remake?
20th Century Fox must be expecting Fantastic Four 2 to make some big bucks this weekend. The bad reviews couldn’t stop the first film from selling tickets, and it seems like the studio believes they have another box office winner. The LA Times is reporting that Fox has already put a feature spinoff starring The Silver Surfer into development. According to the story, Babylon 5 scribe J. Michael Straczynski is already hard at work crafting the screenplay.
But will The Silver Surfer be able to carry a whole movie by himself? His character is certainly interesting enough (more interesting than Fantastic Four at least), and I’m more than confident in Straczynski. But I’m not quite sure that the public is ready for a comic book film where the hero is completely computer generated.
What if Zack Snyder’s 300 were a NES video game? It would probably look and sound something like this.
What do you get when you mash up Superman Returns and Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth? You get An Inconvenienced Superman, a short trailer for a movie that will never be.
Someone reedited The Departed into a two minute F’n video.
Danny Boyle’s Sunshine and Disturbia will make their European premieres next month at the 25th annual Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film.
Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner want to redo the United Artists Logo.
Angelina Jolie is in talks to star in Clint Eastwood’s The Changeling. Scripted by J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), the story is based on true events in 1920s Los Angeles. A woman whose son is abducted, but when he is returned, she suspects that the returned child is not her kid. The woman must then confront corruption in the LAPD.
Borat Censored: USA Network have won the right to air Borat for a five year term, beginning in April 2009. But what’s the point? The film will be cut to pieces.
Disney are reportedly considering legal action against Sinful Comics after they produced a raunchy strip featuring Pirates of the Caribbean actors. But wouldn’t the comic strip be protected under parody?