Thursday, July 22, 2010

Epic Zombie Action

It was confirmed today at the San Diego Comic-Con that Brad Pitt will be starring in the upcoming adaptation of Max Brooks' novel World War Z, which will be directed by Marc Forster. Of course, Pitt's production company has own the rights to the novel pretty much since it came out, so it really shouldn't be much of a surprise that he got a role. The question is: what is the starring role?
See, that's one of the things that's been bothering me about this: how are they going to adapt a book whose narrative is told in the form of an oral history, consisting of "interviews" with the "survivors" of a zombie apocalypse. The book is epic in scale, spreading over the entire world over several years, filled with numerous characters that make single appearances. And therein lies the irony: it's a cinematic book that's virtually unfilmable. The movie, if it were to be faithful to the book, would have to cut several anecdotes, but would still need to be epic in length to do it justice. And, thus far, no one has ever attempted to make a zombie epic.
A scene from the Battle of Yonkers
Personally, I think the producers should scrap the film altogether and, following in AMC's footsteps, sell the novel as the basis of a miniseries, perhaps to HBO or Showtime (that way the gore and other elements can be preserved). This way, the oral history tone of the novel can remain on screen, and a fuller vision can be achieved. Of course, that will never happen. But I can dream, can't I?

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