World War Z movie synopsis is nothing like the book, internet melts down

Illustration for article titled World War Z movie synopsis is nothing like the book, internet melts down

Remember when the World War Z movie held such promise? Now, not so much. Paramount has released the synopsis for its film adaptation of Max Brooks' seminal zombie war story, and people are not happy about the massive deviations.


The internet is rising up like a last-ditch offensive to stop a zombie army. Read the collected rants below.

Here's the official synopsis from Paramount:

"The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), 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."

As you can see, rather than taking place after the bloody Zombie Wars, this movie will be set during the beginning of the outbreak. And Pitt will be running around to try and stop it. So basically, it's every zombie movie ever made that no one saw. It sounds like this adaptation won't even be a shadow of the original novel. The synopsis reads like the producers cherry-picked a few battles and then wove them together around Pitt's character. This is disheartening, to say the least, and we're not alone in our disappointment. Plenty of folks feel the same way, and here's why they're pissed:

Film School Rejects thinks it's all just a damn shame.

[I]f you're going to get fans of the book excited, only to take away what makes the book unique, what's the point? To make a movie In Name Only that uses the title as a hook to get people into the theater before switching your bait?

Why does the adaptation formula seem to be:
1. Find something people like.
2. Option it.
3. Change that thing people like.

Now, instead of a slam dunk, [Director Marc] Forster and company will now have to convince fans that this is worth checking out (and not just another zombie movie to add to the pile). That's a shame.

Topless Robot was less than thrilled:

God damn it. The thing that made World War Z special — and the thing that makes The Walking Dead special, for that matter — is that it's not about the zombies, it's about the people. WWZ makes it a global history, where we get to see how a zombie invasion shaped society in general and various places in specific. It's not about one soldier who trots the goddamned globe fighting zombies. That's just another goddamned regular zombie movie, albeit one with a broader scope. Is it really that hard for Hollywood to wrap their heads around a zombie story that isn't a shitty action-horror film?


Bloody Disgusting's headline sounded a bit disappointed, and almost a little sad:

World War Z' Might Not Be What We Hoped For

Screen Rant attempted to calm the masses asking why we were even surprised, this isn't new in Hollywood, but not before slipping this little zinger in:

Brooks' book explored – among other things – how the world would or wouldn't be able to cope with a massive disaster like a zombie apocalypse. The sci-fi/horror premise was a great allegorical frame for a lot of relevant political, social and moral questions. This movie is basically your tried-and-true (and often failed) race-against-time action/thriller. You probably wouldn't even bat an eye if [they] were to lie and say that Roland Emmerich was directing.


But probably the best rant against Marc Forster and his shallow of an adaptation of an Oral History of the Zombie War is from Peter Hall at

Paramount's World War Z is not Max Brooks' World War Z. As anyone who has read (and no doubt subsequently fallen in love with) the latter, it's about an agent of the UN's Postwar Commission who goes around the world to interview survivors of the zombie apocalypse in order to understand exactly how it happened. He's just a researcher trying to unearth facts that the UN might not want to get out whilst making sense of this big, bloody, global brain-eating mess. He is NOT an employee "in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic." He's not even a little bit of that. Not even a fraction.


But what do you all think? It is pretty early in the game for the film, plus who knows who writes the synopsis for movies (that are still filming). Perhaps it's all just one giant misunderstanding, or perhaps WWZ the movie will surprised us all. Can this movie be saved? Is it even a World War Z movie anymore?

Image Via Dan LuVisi




I think IO9 needs to do a top 10 list of biggest diversions from their source material.

I, Robot takes the top spot. What's 2 thru 10?