More so than most summer blockbusters landing this year, “World War Z” has a tough battle in front of it. It might be based on a best-seller and be toplined by megastar Brad Pitt, but it’s also a dark, serious PG-13 tentpole that could risk being too terrifying to hit four quadrants, while not having enough gore for the horror fiends. But perhaps more importantly, the film’s surfing a wave of bad buzz due to a troubled production that allegedly saw Pitt and director Marc Forster fall out, a delayed release (it was originally set to hit last Christmas), and was apparently troubled enough that it saw the entire third act rewritten and reshot long after production wrapped with a bevy of A-list screenwriters, including Damon Lindelof, Drew Goddard and Christopher McQuarrie brought on with the hope of fixing the problems.
It doesn’t help that the trailers so far have been underwhelming, and unfortunately that’s not been rectified by a new full trailer that’s just hit (via Filmonic). The clip follows a similar pattern to the previous promos, emphasizing Pitt as a family man with lots of shots of his screen wife (“The Killing” ‘s Mireille Enos) before the zombie mayhem kicks off. From then on, Pitt is brought on by the U.N. to try and find the source, and hopefully, the cure to the outbreak.
The clip plays up the political thriller angle of the film a little more (making it seem strangely like a zombified version of “Zero Dark Thirty“), but there’s not actually a lot more new footage, with many of the money shots of previous clips still intact — and the effects still looking a little rubbery, frankly. There are some new snippets that do bode well — David Morse, looking like he’s having fun as a prisoner who may hold some answers, and what looks to be a terrifying setpiece with the undead managing to get onto a plane on which Pitt is traveling.
But there’s still nothing here that makes us feel much more confident about the film. Hopefully the third-act triage has been a success — we would like the film to work out — but it still feels like the film’s a somewhat dicey proposition. But will that matter, given Pitt’s star power and the success of the not dissimilar “I Am Legend” a few years back? We’ll find out when the film opens on June 21st.