Following a troubled production with widely reported rewrites and reshoots, Marc Forster’s World War Z is finally on its way and the first trailer has now arrived. Loosely based on Max Brooks’ cult novel, the film stars Brad Pitt as a United Nations employee who is forced to leave his wife (Mirielle Enos) and children in a desperate attempt to locate the origins of the Zombie pandemic that is threatening humanity. Bryan Cranston, Matthew Fox, James Badge Dale, Elyes Gabel, David Morse and Daniella Kertesz also star. From what I gather, much of Brooks’ intriguing novel seems to have been cast aside for a more conventional action film here — it has been described as Bourne-meets-The Walking Dead — and Paramount are hoping to have a new franchise on their hands. This first trailer features echoes of 28 Days Later‘s fast zombies and Contagion‘s geo-political virus angle — with a hint of Spielberg’s apocalyptic/family crisis War of the Worlds — but with the heavy use of CGI and some pretty cliché lines it hardly seems comparable to either of those great films, and considering Forster’s last film was the dire Bond outing Quantum of Solace it’s hard to imagine the action scenes will fair much better. I’ve been impressed with the work Pitt has been doing post-Babel, including this year’s excellent Killing Them Softly, but he looks potentially miscast here, and unfortunately nothing about this trailer reassures us that the script or production issues have been adequately resolved.
World War Z hits June 21, 2013. Watch the first trailer below.