Brad Pitt surprises at a sneak peek screening to launch his zombie opus.
by Scott Collura
MAY 23, 2013
Last night, word leaked to me that a special screening of Brad Pitt's zombie movie World War Z was taking place in Hoboken, New Jersey. This was to be the first public showing of the movie anywhere, so I decided to trek all the way to the Garden State to check out Mr. Pitt and director Marc Forster's take on the undead.
And you know what? It was totally worth the trip.
Paramount isn't ready for reviews of the film to run, but I can write this short reaction piece. As I noted on Twitter last night, World War Z is a big, solid zombie movie. Its globe-spanning story and reams and heaving mountains of ghouls give it a scope that I don't think any film in this genre has seen before. We've come a long way from having to hole up in a farmhouse to fend off the living dead.
Fans will recall that the film wound up in the spotlight during its production when it had to undergo reshoots and, reportedly, required its ending to be rewritten by Damon Lindelof (Star Trek Into Darkness, Lost). But any troubles World War Z faced behind the scenes aren't readily apparent in the final product. It's not a perfect movie, but it is often intense and engrossing, and the crowd at the screening last night really seemed to dig it (special thanks must go to the girl sitting behind me, or kicked my seat and screamed every time a zombie popped out!).
Not surprisingly, while the film is based on Max Brooks' novel, it deviates significantly from it. And that's fine, as long as fans of the WWZ tome understand that going in. This version of the tale is a Brad Pitt thriller that happens to be set in a world of zombies, one crafted around the star and his character. I've read the book and enjoyed it, but I enjoyed the movie in a different way altogether.
Our full review will run closer to World War Z's June 21 release, but for now, zombie fans can feel relieved…