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.
Several sites (including Movies.com) ran the plot description, which is as follows:

The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.  Enos plays Gerry’s wife Karen Lane; Kertesz is his comrade in arms, Segen.

I will admit, at first read, I was pretty disappointed that the film – scheduled for release December 21, 2012 – was straying so far from what made the book great. But really, if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Audiences want action, suspense and characters they care about. If the movie starts and everyone is already dead except for the people telling the stories, you know they’re going to survive and there’s no real through line. There’s certainly an amazing movie that could have been made out of the original structure but, I can’t be too upset  – or surprised – that Paramount is going with something a bit sexier.

What do you think about this change in the narrative of World War Z?

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