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Brad Pitt Talks Tentpole ‘World War Z,’ Unused Budapest Scenes and Fast vs. Slow Zombies in New EW

Brad Pitt Talks Tentpole 'World War Z,' Unused Budapest Scenes and Fast vs. Slow Zombies in New EW

Much has been reported on “World War Z”‘s laborious trek to the big screen (June 21), plagued with re-shoots and re-writes — all the while taking the title of Most Expensive Zombie Movie Ever Made. Despite rumors of conflict between director Marc Forster (“Quantum of Solace”) and his producer-star, it’s up to Brad Pitt’s to turn this movie into a winner for all concerned. And so he sits down with Entertainment Weekly (which hits newsstands March 29), and discusses his newfound admiration for the big-budget tentpole, the stealthy zombies in the film, and why he loosened up on his original political interests in the project. Highlights below.

Watch the film’s trailer here.

On the “technician” aspects involved with big-budget tentpoles:

“These movies are very intricate puzzles, and you have to
keep winding the mechanisms and then trigger them all at just the right time. We give so much more credence to the end-of-the-year dramas. In
these movies you’re triggering emotions, too—a thrill response—but they are far
more calibrated. You’ve got to be a bit of a technician.”

On the difference between the film and the Max Brooks novel its based upon:

“The book focused on slow zombies. We chose to be more
dynamic in that we wanted to base all of this on science. So it’s ‘What if we
had them move like ants? Or a swarm of bees? Or birds or a school of fish
that’s being chased?’ One of the first [questions] we asked was how to portray
the zombies and how to do it differently because it’s been done so many times
and been done pretty damn well.”

On the scenes shot in Budapest, which won’t be used for the film:

“At the time I was really interested
in a more political film, using the zombie trope as a kind of Trojan horse for
asking: ‘What would happen to sociopolitical lines if there was a pandemic like
this? Who would be on top? Who would be the powerful countries and who would be
the most vulnerable? We wanted to really explore that, but
it was just too much. We got bogged down in it; it was too much to explain. It
gutted the fun of what these films are meant to be.”

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