March 22, 2011

World War Z Movie: One Foot in the Grave?

Vulture is reporting that Paramount is set to can the movie adaptation of World War Z if they can't find a financial partner to co-fund the movie.

Despite the popularity of Max Brooks's World War Z, which is about a global zombie apocalypse; despite no lack of interest for zombie projects, demonstrated by Zombieland and The Walking Dead; and despite being produced by Brad Pitt, World War Z is proving a difficult movie to bring to life. After changing writers and losing directors, World War Z might lose its chance in Hollywood because Paramount is unwilling to risk producing a big-budget zombie picture to the tune of over $125 million. Even with the promise from director Marc Forster that he'll turn in a PG-13 rating (bleck), World War Z may be in grave trouble.

As the Vulture piece by Claude Brodesser-Akner points out, "Just two weeks ago, Universal shut down Guillermo del Toro's similarly costly and graphic adaptation of the H.P Lovecraft novel At the Mountains of Madness." In this current economy, studios seem unwilling to roll the dice on big-budget horror pictures.

I'm fairly certain there's a big enough audience out there willing to eat up a World War Z movie, but they might not get the chance unless Paramount can court some co-financers to send World War Z lurching into theaters rather than shambling back into the pits of development hell.