After being stuck in development for years, World War Z found a new life this past spring when additional financing saved the project from being shut down altogether. Since then, the project’s been fast-tracked — likely in order to beat the deadline before Paramount’s short, expensive option runs out. Based on the bestselling novel by Max Brooks, Marc Forster‘s film will star Brad Pitt (who’s also producing), James Badge Dale, Anthony Mackie and Mireille Enos. Production begins this month, but it sounds as though a large chunk of the film will be shot in Glasgow this August. More details after the jump.
The Daily Record reports that Pitt, who’s producing through his company Plan B Entertainment, will be heading into Scotland to begin filming the £80 million (or $130 million) epic later this summer. For the film, Glasgow will be remade into war-torn Philadelphia, with fake storefronts and American cars lining the streets. Locals have been recruited to play zombie extras, and a huge tented village is expected to be built for the production. The two-week shoot will be based in Glasgow’s George Square, chosen for its visual similarity to Philadelphia. Shooting is also slated to take place in Malta and at London’s Pinewood Studios, and possibly Hungary as well.
Brooks’ original novel (subtitled An Oral History of the Zombie War) was well-received critically and commercially when it was released in 2006. Readers and critics praised the book for its ambitious, relatively realistic take on the zombie genre. Here’s Publishers Weekly’s synopsis of Brooks’ novel, via Amazon:
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.
Discuss: Glaswegians: I have no idea if the production is still looking for zombie extras, but feel free to try The Casting Collective to find out. If you do get in, let us know all about it! Everyone: Are you excited to see World War Z headed to the big screen, or are you suffering from zombie fatigue already?