The big screen adaptation of Max Brooks' oral history of a zombie apocalypse, turned into a more basic narrative feature by director Marc Foster, has been facing a lot of production troubles with a rapidly inflating budget, props being seized by law enforcement, extras placed in peril, and a script that was apparently struggling to equate to a good movie.
Well, it turns out the Brad Pitt blockbuster is in more trouble than expected, as the film is facing a massive seven weeks of re-shoots (to put into context, there are entire movies that don't take that long to shoot) and Lost creator/Prometheus scribe Damon Lindelof is being brought in to punch up the film's ending. The jokes write themselves.
The sort of time and money being funnelled into these re-shoots indicate that the film, as is, must be a complete irreparable disaster. Marc Foster is said to be staying on as director but expect a much heavier producer presence on set, to ensure no more of their money is being pissed down the drain.
The big question very few people seem to be asking is: Why did anyone think a zombie movie deserved this much money? George Romero was producing masterpieces with scope on a pittance. Here are the Top 5 highest grossing zombie movies, as per Box Office Mojo. Note that most of these are as mainstream friendly as the genre gets and yet...
1 Zombieland. US Domestic Gross: $75,590,286 Worldwide Gross: $102,391,540 Production Budget: $23.6 million
2 Resident Evil: Afterlife. US Domestic Gross: $60,128,566 Worldwide Gross: $296,221,663 Production Budget: $60 million
3 Dawn of the Dead (2004). US Domestic Gross: $59,020,957 Worldwide Gross: $102,356,381 Production Budget: $26 million
4 Death Becomes Her. US Domestic Gross: $58,422,650 Worldwide Gross: $149,022,650 Production Budget: $55 million
5 Pet Sematary. US Domestic Gross: $57,469,467 Worldwide Gross: Unavailable Production Budget: $11.5 million
The budgets never break $60m which is low-end stuff for a blockbuster level release, World War Z is already running at an insanely high $125m budget without factoring in an entire movie's worth of most likely effects-heavy re-shoots. Zombies are still very niche, even at their most appealing, so World War Z could make John Carter look like James Cameron.