So just how much of a nightmare is Paramount‘s “World War Z“? By the looks of it, a zombie apocalypse would be preferable to what they’re going through on the Brad Pitt tentpole. With the movie delayed to next summer, seven weeks of reshoots tentatively planned for this fall and the studio honcho admitting that so far, they’ve only got 45 minutes to 1 hour of a decent movie, a helluva lot of work needs to be done to prevent this from becoming a cautionary tale executives talk about in retirement. It was only last month that “Lost” and “Prometheus” scribe Damon Lindelof was brought in to try and bang out something better than what Paramount had before, but it turns out, he had a bit of help.
Deadline reports that while Lindelof did crack the ending, the actual writing duties fell to Drew Goddard, director of “Cabin in the Woods” and writer of Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming “Robopocalypse.” That’s a pretty great choice, and he showed with ‘Woods’ that he knows his way around a movie that turns genre expectations on its head. But here’s the thing…Paramount isn’t sure if they want to use it. Apparently, Christopher McQuarrie is being eyed to come in and do some work on “World War Z,” but his participation is dependent on his schedule with Tom Cruise, as he will be punching up Doug Liman‘s “All You Need Is Kill” which is set to lens later this year. But moreover, this uncertainty seems to suggest that Paramount either don’t know what they want, or aren’t going to settle until they get something spectcular. Perhaps a mix of both.
Frankly, this is sounding like a repeat of last year’s mess with the “Men In Black III” shoot which took a long, extended hiatus with no less than five writers rotating in and out to work on the movie. That said, audiences didn’t seem to notice, as it has racked up over $600 million worldwide. So don’t count this movie out yet — generally audiences don’t pay attention to production woes — and if it does well, no one will remember its arduous journey to the big screen. But we can only imagine the movie is now overbudget (hiring guys like Lindelof and McQuarrie ain’t cheap), and if it doesn’t do well, there are going to be some serious questions that need answering.