It took Paramount years to get the zombie apocalypse thriller World War Z off the ground, but now that the production is actually up and running, it seems the studio is very eager to keep moving forward with the property. The studio and director Marc Forster reportedly have their fingers crossed that the upcoming film will become the first in a trilogy, all with star Brad Pitt at this center.

Considering how sequel-crazy studios are nowadays, and how hot zombies are at the moment, this isn’t much of a shocker. What’s a little more surprising is that if this plan works out, it’ll be Pitt’s first time leading a major franchise of his own. Yup, Pitt’s somehow managed to build up a two-decade, A-list career without a single Mission: Impossible or Marvel superhero series under his belt. More details on the possible film series after the jump.

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Though some fans have expressed their displeasure with the changes that Marc Forster has made in his cinematic adaptation of Max Brooks‘ zombie apocalypse novel World War Z, it seems the movie version is staying faithful to the source material in at least one way: a devotion to chillingly realistic detail. So much so, in fact, that Forster’s Budapest set was recently visited by a real-life SWAT team, who were none too happy with having to confiscate some 85 “prop” firearms that turned out to be fully functional and extremely dangerous weapons. Um, oops. Read more after the jump.

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Jena Malone has landed the part of Southern Gothic writer Carson McCullers in Lonely Hunter, a biopic written and directed by Deborah Kampmeier (Hounddog). The film will encompass some 35 years of McCullers’ 50-year life, including her struggles with alcoholism, various illnesses, and a tumultuous marriage. McCullers is probably best known for her debut novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, but she also published poems, plays, and short stories throughout her lifetime and was part of the same literary circle as Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote.

Malone appeared in Sucker Punch earlier this year, and will star in next year’s lesbian werewolf romance Jack and Diane. Lonely Hunter is scheduled to begin shooting in spring 2012. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, World War Z gets a late addition and Vinessa Shaw struggles with the downside of smelling really, really good.

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Similar to the globetrotting plot of the film, excitement for World War Z has been all over the map. Fans were initially jazzed that, after years of development hell, director Marc Forster was finally going to adapt Max Brooks‘ book about a global battle between humans and zombies. The early casting of Brad Pitt was another high point. But as shooting finally began, details leaked that the plot of the film had major variations from the novel. A video depicting a violent zombie transformation then won back a few of those naysayers.

Forster, taking a break from shooting next December’s zombie film to promote Machine Gun Preacher, has finally addressed some of these changes and concerns. Watch the video after the jump. Read More »

Set Video: Wild ‘World War Z’ Zombie Attack

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Whether you’re talking about George Romero, Danny Boyle, Edgar Wright or any one else who has made a famous contribution to the zombie genre, some of the most important things to note are the differences in the undead. Do they run? What do they eat? How do they eat? Is the transformation fast? These are all questions any zombie filmmaker worth his weight in brains has to ask. Director Marc Forster is currently adapting Max Brooks‘ zombie best-seller World War Z with Brad Pitt and, despite some major issues fans have with the rumored changes, a new video shows he’s not only made those decisions, he’s made frightening ones. Read More »

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After years of being stuck in development hell, the big-screen adaptation of Max Brooks‘ beloved novel World War Z is finally getting off the ground. As of this summer, the film has finally entered production with Marc Forster directing a cast led by Brad Pitt. Brooks recently took a trip to the set in Glasgow (standing in for Philadelphia), and had a few things to share about his experience there.

Brooks’ original novel is comprised of after-the-fact recollections of the catastrophic zombie war, as told to UN employee Gerry Lane. However, the film takes a different format, following Gerry (Pitt) as he races around the world working to stop the ongoing zombie pandemic. Read more about Brooks’ thoughts on the adaptation after the jump.

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The story behind Machine Gun Preacher is inspiring: Sam Childers traded criminal activity for a life attempting to rescue children in Sudan who would otherwise be co-opted into warfare by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

But the movie that dramatises Sam Childers’ story — Gerard Butler stands in for Childers, with a seemingly unstable accent — looks like total by the numbers superficial claptrap. He finds Jesus! He finds a soul! He helps kids! And when the resistance army fights back, he picks up a bazooka and blows them to hell! It’s like Rambo: First Blood Part II for a more sensitive, post-2000 set, courtesy of Monsters Ball director Marc Forster. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

The subtitle of Max Brooks‘ awesome book World War Z is “An Oral History of The Zombie War.” From page one, the book takes place in a world where zombies and humans have already waged an epic war and now a researcher is traveling the world, talking to survivors to try and put together some of the pieces. Brooks’ structure gives the book an almost documentary feel where characters are forced to relive some of the most frightening moments of their lives.

Reading the book, it’s pretty easy to assume that a movie adaptation wouldn’t be a to-the-letter adaptation. There really aren’t any characters to latch onto and it’s mostly vignettes. Paramount has now confirmed that assumption with their official plot description of the currently shooting movie starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster. World War Z, the movie, takes place as the zombie outbreak is happening with a U.N. employee racing to stop it. Read the full description and more after the jump. Read More »

December 2012 just got a bit more interesting. The end of the year is already anchored by the first chapter in Peter Jackson’s two-film adaptation of The Hobbit, on Dec 14, and the week following was crowded with three potentially big films: Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, Phillip Noyce’s Hunter Killer and Gore Verbinski’s Lone Ranger all on the 21st. Then, only four days later, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained arrives as the most unlikely Christmas movie ever.

Now Paramount has set Marc Forster‘s adaptation of the Max Brooks novel World War Z for Dec. 21, 2012  as well. This one is also a postentially big picture, as Brad Pitt plays UN officer Gerry Lane, who is trying to compile a report of the aftermath of a zombie uprising. So which of these films will blink and shift to another date? I’m looking at you, Hunter Killer.

In addition to the release date, we’ve got a few new images of Brad Pitt on a boat in full post-apocalypse regalia; check those out below. Read More »

Bryan Cranston in Talks for ‘World War Z’

Another week, another Bryan Cranston casting story. The Breaking Bad star was recently forced to drop out of Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad due to scheduling conflicts, but don’t think that’s slowed his meteoric rise any. The actor is currently in negotiations to join World War Z, Marc Forster‘s adaptation of Max Brooks‘ acclaimed novel.

Subtitled An Oral History of the Zombie War, the book takes place in an apocalyptic future in which mankind is fighting back against the zombie threat. The film will star Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale, along with Brad Pitt as United Nations employee Gerry Lane. Read on after the jump.

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