Spines Are Divine, But Knees Are Just Fine: Director Marc Forster Talks World War Z

By Eric Eisenberg 2013-03-29 00:01:13discussion comments
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So, to that end, are there zombie movies in this world?

Yes, I think in this world, there were definitely zombie movies and there were actually characters in the film that talk about zombies as well.

Back to the other question, this is going to be PG-13, so you have to avoid blood and gore, I know thereís like the hand cut-off...

Most of the gore and blood, when you see the whole movie, I avoid it on purpose, intentionally.

What were some of the locations you shot in for the film? Did you actually go to Israel?

No, we shot in Malta for Israel. I went to Israel for casting purposes and went to Jerusalem a couple times, but we were shooting in Malta.

You mention that the film takes place over the course of a few days. Do we start seeing the breakdown of electricity and the infrastructure as the picture goes on?

Yes, there is a breakdown of infrastructure. I mean some of it is still working and some is breaking down, but yes, you will see that.

Obviously, adapting Max Brooksí book is next to impossible because of the way itís structured, but for fans of the book, as theyíre watching the movie, are there going to be characters or mentions or nods to stories that are in the book?

Yes, like, for instance the Israeli characters, Jurgen Waimbrunn he is a character and a couple other mentions we have. We tried to incorporate from the book.

What run time are you shooting for?

Itíll probably be a little short of two hours, 1:50 or something like that.

Brad has been quoted in the past as saying heíd like to see a World War Z trilogy. Is that to say this ends on a good note? Is there more story to tell?

Definitely, there could be more story to tell, yes.

Are you worried that zombie fans wonít embrace this film especially as it has more reflective periods in addition to the action?

You know, there are some more reflective moments from the film. Some zombie fans you will not be able to make happy and some zombie fans will embrace it and will love the movie. I think there always be discussion and a little bit of controversy, I think, on every zombie movie, because there are definitely different camps of what people prefer or not. I hope that most of the zombie fans will appreciate all the new things we added to the movie that they havenít seen before in this particular genre.

Are you hoping to bring a new audience because the movie is less gory and not everyone is a zombie fan?

For me, this is not just a zombie film. Itís more than that. Itís a global film. Itís a film about a global crisis. Yes, itís a zombie film, but it also speaks about some global issues, more to that. So I think in that sense, I feel it might bring in a different audience, hopefully, as well.

I was hoping you could talk a little bit more about the tone of, I mean obviously itís very dramatic and thereís a lot of action, but are there sort of lighter moments as well?

Yeah, here and there, sprinkled through them, but most of it is a pretty intense ride, like on the edge of your seat, pretty much from beginning to end. Even the more reflective moments, when it gets quiet, itís like then the tension comes from somewhere else.

One of the things we saw in the footage, which we donít usually see in Hollywood blockbusters, was the male hero in the corner while the female had a machine gun blowing people away. So, in addition to this sort of global scale, is gender equity part of the whole aesthetic in the film?

Yeah, the great thing is that Bradís character, Gerry Lane, is sort of the every manís hero, sort of the anti-hero in that sense. Ultimately, heís not going to kill unless heís forced to and when heís suddenly in that situation with a zombie where he has no choice, but heís not your typical hero in that sense.

Have you done test screenings and what have you learned from them?

That the audience really embraced the film. We did one and they just really loved the movie and it really went well and everybody was very excited. It seemed like the people who read the book were supportive of the film in that audience and people who were zombie fans thought there were so many new things that they havenít seen in zombie movies and so it was a very successful screening.
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