Even though Brad Pitt has been attached to star since June 2006, World War Z, the adaptation of Max Brooks's novel about "the zombie war," has had a hell of a time getting made. As recently as this March Paramount was looking for a co-financier to help make the massive movie possible-- budgeted at over $125 million, World War Z will mimic the book's exhaustive account of the zombie apocalypse, and those giant battle scenes don't come cheap.

Now that the film really is moving forward, with Pitt still set to star, the studio can afford to bring in some smaller names whose salaries won't inflate the price tag. According to Variety, The Pacific star James Badge Dale will be playing a key role, as an American soldier "who tries to alert authorities that the zombie threat is real." Pitt will be playing the lead character but who actually does the least in the book, the interviewer largely existing off the page, asking the questions that form the narrative of the book. In the novel there is one somewhat central soldier character, Todd Wainio, who participates in one of the central zombie battles and whose voice reoccurs in the book. It's possible the role has been retooled to play a more significant role in the film, and that's the one Dale will be playing.

Dale obviously has the experience playing a soldier thanks to The Pacific, but you also might have caught him in recurring roles on 24, Rescue Me and Rubicon. Expect his to be the second-- The Killing's Mireille Enos has already been cast-- not-quite-famous name to join the film, which shoots this summer.

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