Friday, June 14, 2013

Coming Soon: World War Z!

Release Date: June 21, 2013
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Marc Forster
Written by: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof
Starring: Brad Pitt, Marielle Enos, James Badge Dale and Matthew Fox
Music by: Marco Beltrani

Based on the novel by Max Brooks, World War Z is the story of "United Nations employee Gerry Lane, [who] traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to decimate humanity itself." 

Coming at the apex of a zombie renaissance in pop culture, World War Z is not only a blockbuster epic starring one of the biggest Hollywood icons working today, but also the biggest production of a horror/zombie film ever attempted. Given the massive scope of the project, it may surprise some that the director is also responsible for Academy Award nominated dramas like Monster's Ball, The Kite Runner, and one of my personal favorites, Finding Neverland. However, he has also proven his skills at delivering high-octane thrills in films like Quantum of Solace. Throughout his career, Marc Forster has consistently subverted expectations and shown his diverse talents through a variety of genres. He seems to enjoy a challenge, which makes World War Z a worthy selection to his resume.

An army of zombies threatening to penetrate humanity's last defences in World War Z.

Not only does this film bolster an intriguing choice of director, but outside of the house-hold name given top-billing, the rest of the cast seems somewhat unknown by comparison. For instance, Mireille Enos (who studied at Brigham Young University, incidentally) received her first recognition for performing in a broadway musical entitled Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, for which she received a Tony nomination. She has since gone on to roles in other star-studded productions like this year's Gangster Squad as well as numerous TV appearances throughout the past two decades. Her most acclaimed role was perhaps her recurring stint on the TV series The Killing for which she received an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination. Perhaps the success of WWZ will lead to even greater exposure for Enos in years to come.

Her co-stars, however, have already participated in numerous blockbuster films and/or game-changing TV series. James Badge Dale, while not a household name by any means, has already been a part of a huge film this summer in Iron Man 3 as the villainous henchman, Eric Savin. Following World War Z's release, Dale will also be in Disney's upcoming reboot of The Lone Ranger. Another important character in this film is being played by the memorable Matthew Fox, most well known for his leading role of Jack Shephard in the incredibly popular TV series, Lost. Though none of these people have been tasked with carrying a film of this magnitude, their mere presence should be enough to provide depth to the secondary characters that so often are given short shrift in genre epics.

WWZ looks to be a somewhat risky investment, given the overall profitability (or lack thereof) of zombie pictures. Most horror films tend to scrape by with a tidy profit based on the extremely low budgets initially afforded them by somewhat reluctant studios. However, following the success of shows like The Walking Dead, the time seems to be ripe for a break-out zombie/horror blockbuster. One thing of which we can all be certain— World War Z is shaping up to be unlike anything we've ever seen.

*For more information about the movie, visit the official World War Z web site.