World War Z Talking Points: 10 Essential Facts

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World War Z, opening nationwide this weekend, is the highly anticipated 3-D zombie epic starring Brad Pitt. Up until this point the film has been overshadowed by stalled productions, rewrites, re-shoots and Angelina Jolie‘s appearance at the premiere in London. VH1 Celebrity previewed WWZ last week and pulled together all the essential things you need to know before going into the film.

1. Brad Pitt has Jennifer Aniston hair.

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Everyone’s seen all the promos and trailers and red carpet appearances. But it still must be said: Brad Pitt has Jennifer Aniston hair. Whether this is a sign of how good (or bad) the movie is is still up for debate, BUT there are theories out there. Also, did I mention that Brad Pitt has long hair in this film? I kept waiting for him to find his Beyonce wind. Spoiler alert: He never does.

2. The only thing the book World War Z and the movie share is the title.

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Those who have read the book know that Max Brooks‘ novel is practically impossible to adapt. The narrative style (an oral documentary) and focus on new characters in each chapter all but ruin any real opportunity to translate the text on the big screen. While it’s theoretically possible to make a faux-documentary, it’s clearly not what Brad Pitt and crew wanted for the cinematic experience. Instead, audiences get a completely different narrative that makes a pit stop in Israel, as if to say the writers at least read the Cliff’s Notes version of the novel.

3. The movie is meant to be the first entry in a trilogy.

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Whether or not all three films will star Brad Pitt, the original idea was to transform the book and film into a trilogy that follows the outbreak, zombie war and ultimate recovery. The basic outline of the book lends itself to a series of films, but the movie is not being advertised as a first part in the series. The fact that it ends in a cliffhanger of sorts doesn’t make sense without the larger context.

4. WWZ is practically two films in one.

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This is where you can throw blame at Damon Lindelof. Well, maybe not entirely, because his half of the film is pretty great, if it were not called WWZ. It’s clear where the writer took over the script and penned a new ending. Suddenly, a worldwide epic becomes a narrow feature about finding a weakness in the zombies and somehow putting an end to the pandemic. Lindelof is a pretty decent writer (ignoring Prometheus) but he was unfairly shoehorned into this project. Maybe if he wrote the script from beginning to end it would have been more cohesive.

5. The zombies have evolved. Well slightly.

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I previously mapped out the evolution of zombies in pop culture based on intelligence and speed. The major difference with the zombies in this film is speed. They have superhuman running power that can take down walls, automobiles and even planes. Another element of change is the rate at which someone becomes a zombie. It’s frighteningly fast!

Up next: The breakout star, familiar faces and one terrifying scene.

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