In case you didn’t get the memo, for the most part, the major studios no longer sweat the small stuff. It’s all about the tentpole these days, and the bigger the better with more and more movies going all in on their budgets, and then crossing their fingers that the all important first weekend is a big one. Franchises are either made or broken on those numbers between Friday and Sunday night, but between all the studios throwing elbows for dominance, in 2011 it was Paramount who won the battle taking home the biggest market share. And heading into 2012, they are hoping to keep that streak alive and have one of the biggest stars in the world in their arsenal to help them do it.
Brad Pitt will topline the highly anticiapted “World War Z” that arrives at the end of the year, and already, Paramount is hoping for big things. The story is set in the aftermath of an undead apocalypse which has wiped out much of the world’s population, and sees Pitt playing a U.N. researcher investigating the outbreak. A ridiculously strong supporting cast has been rounded up for the Marc Forster directed film including Bryan Cranston, Matthew Fox, James Badge Dale and Mirielle Eno and if all goes well, it won’t be the last we see of everyone (at least those that survive).
In the midst of a Pitt profile with the LA Times, a little nugget of info was dropped revealing, “Forster and Paramount Pictures each view ‘World War Z’ as a trilogy that would have the grounded, gun-metal realism of, say, Damon’s Jason Bourne series tethered to the unsettling end-times vibe of AMC‘s ‘The Walking Dead.’ ” Those are some pretty high benchmarks they’re aiming for, but like we said, these days it’s go big or go home. But that said, it’s an enticing mix of ingredients there.
The movie is still about a year away, with much more to come. We’re guessing Paramount will go very, very hard at Comic-Con with ‘Z’ and we figure that’s when we’ll start seeing the first substantial footage from the movie. But until then, the stakes are getting raised, so let’s see if Forster and Pitt can meet them.