World War Z Script Reviewed

I’ve never quite understood why zombie movies are the method of choice for filmmakers to express some point of view about the human condition. I guess the combination of political intrigue, mass panic and rotting flesh is too much to resist. The most recent novelist to write the zombies-as-where-we-are-as-humans story was Max Brooks, son of Mel, who wrote World War Z as well as The Zombie Survival Guide. Neither were novels, actually, but World War Z chronicled the aftermath of a zombie war that tore the planet apart, from the point of view of a government employee trying to figure out where everything went wrong.

World War Z has been adapted into a screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski, who also wrote Clint Eastwood’s upcoming Changeling and many, many episodes of Babylon 5. Ain’t It Cool got its hands on a draft of the script, and Moriarty is going nuts over it. “I love this script. Love every dark, somber, upsetting page of it.

He compares the setting to Children of Men, a world in which many things have gone terribly wrong and it’s difficult to maintain hope to survive. The main character is a government employee named Gerry, who travels the world collecting stories from those who were witness to the zombie wars, and some of the people whose oversights and mistakes let the wars get out of control. “One of the things that the script does so well is depict survivors who are starting to wonder if survival is a victory of any kind,” Moriarty writes, before including these tantalizing story details: ”There’s a story about black market organs that is just brutal, an off-the-record conversation with a CIA friend, and an insane beach sequence that I can’t wait to see on film. All in the first 50 pages.”

Moriarty is an admitted fan of zombie and horror movies, so his words should probably be taken with a grain of salt by those of us who like our movies with a little less brain-eating. But it definitely sounds promising, since even die-hard horror fans probably don’t throw phrases like this around every day: “It’s a genre-defining piece of work that could well see us all arguing about whether or not a zombie movie qualifies as Best Picture material.”

World War Z currently doesn’t have a director attached, so now all the speculation turns to wondering who will direct something that will definitely be unusual. Until then, though, horror fans can just get themselves pumped over the script, and the rest of us can wonder if it will be worth the hype.

Katey Rich

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend