“You couldn’t pay me to turn it into a film. All I know is they have their work cut out for them. It is the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis on your knees.”

Well Max, I’m surely they certainly did pay you (handsomely) to turn your World War Z novel into a film, but we know what you mean.

World War Z is right smack in the middle of a principle photography phase that has been a long time coming, with its start marking a wave of boring set pictures and online outrage due to the apparent changes to the format of the book. Instead of a retrospective collection of essays from a UN researcher that gives a unique look at a zombie-changed world through anecdotal stories from the decade since the apocalypse, the film will apparently focus on said researcher during the zombie apocalypse, and action and stuff. Years ago the script for the film was leaked and reviewed as something potentially genre-defining, but sadly it seems that may have been ditched for something more straightforward. That said, I don’t think anyone really knows exactly how the film will play out, and if perhaps the book’s unique approach to a zombie scenario may yet be integrated.

If you thought maybe Max Brooks might have an inside track on what’s what with the World War Z for the big screen, I’m afraid to disappoint you. He’s just happy to be invited to set…

“I heard Brad Pitt had optioned the rights and I thought, ‘That’s cool’ but it probably wouldn’t ever get made because most optioned projects never do, so it was the biggest shock in the world to me when my wife showed me pictures on her computer of Brad Pitt in Malta filming World War Z…. I’m still waiting to wake up from this one.”

Despite being definitively “not involved,” Brooks treats the adaptation like a very brave, well-researched adaptation of his difficult novel. I don’t know if that means he just doesn’t realize or care to acknowledge that they’ve simply applied his title and basic premise to something more obvious, or if he knows more than we do about how they’ve adapted the book. Regardless, it seems a mistake to assume much about anything, except that long-hair suits Brad Pitt these days about as well as it does Tom Hanks.

The Daily Record piece from which these quotes come came along at the same time as a huge gallery of set photos from Metro (both via /Film). I’ve chosen the most interesting I could find, but feel free to peruse the lot of them. Mostly inert set photos are all the rage these days, after all.

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