After seeming like it would succumb to the depths of development hell, a film based on the Max Brooks novel World War Z is finally shooting with Brad Pitt in the lead. Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Monster’s Ball) is directing the movie right now, and the first photos of Brad Pitt in costume have been shot as the movie is in Malta, shooting scenes that take place in Israel. Check a few out after the break.

The Daily Mail has these images, along with a few more. Granted, the site misidentifies Brad Pitt’s character as Max Brooks (he’s playing Gerry Lane), but the pics speak for themselves. We don’t get any idea of what the makeup and effects will look like, but we can start to see here that the scope of the film might be big enough to satisfy fans of the novel.

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Brooks, the author of the determinedly straight-faced parody The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), returns in all seriousness to the zombie theme for his second outing, a future history in the style of Theodore Judson’s Fitzpatrick’s War. Brooks tells the story of the world’s desperate battle against the zombie threat with a series of first-person accounts “as told to the author” by various characters around the world. A Chinese doctor encounters one of the earliest zombie cases at a time when the Chinese government is ruthlessly suppressing any information about the outbreak that will soon spread across the globe. The tale then follows the outbreak via testimony of smugglers, intelligence officials, military personnel and many others who struggle to defeat the zombie menace. Despite its implausible premise and choppy delivery, the novel is surprisingly hard to put down. The subtle, and not so subtle, jabs at various contemporary politicians and policies are an added bonus.

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