Movie adaptions, or why you shouldn't ever see World War Z.

6 years ago | alex5927 (Member)

I read world war z a while back, and just saw the movie. It fucking sucked. I thought book adaptions were getting better, but obviously I was wrong. I dont even think they read world war z, or the zombie survival guide. The thing about the book that set it apart was that it was a deeply emotional story in which the survivors of the war against zombies recounted their tales. One of the things that made the disease spread was that they didnt even know if people were infected, and the infectees were slow, but sheer numbers managed to almost wipe out the population.

The movie is about brad pitt fighting tons of fast, super-powered zombies, which turn within seconds and can single-handedly overturn buses. In other words, any other zombie movie, with an A-list name as the star, and a critically acclaimed book that they managed to buy the title from.

In other words, dont see wwz.

P.s. sorry about my grammar, when i get ranty, i stop giving a shit.

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Responses

  1. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Some books don't adapt well to movies (at least to big Hollywood movies). World War Z would have been more true to the book as a kind of fake Ken Burns documentary. Unfortunately it's probably a lot harder to get that made than a more typical summer blockbuster. WWZ might have been better off as an indie movie in that sense.

  2. Stormy (Moderator)

    Posted 6 years ago

    They probably went "they tried doco style with District 9 and that didn't do great, so let's make it a normal movie!".

    I think book adaptations are getting better in the sense that they at least acknowledge the book's audience, instead of seeing it as a subset of their potential market - if people like the book, they're going to be your on-the-ground word-of-mouth marketing team, you don't want to mess with that.

  3. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Why would you expect it to be like the book, though? Rationally speaking, you can't make a two hour movie out of the book. You can't even make three hour movie out of the book.

    The book doesn't have a single narrative. It has lots of different stories and perspectives on What Happened. You can't make a movie about that, call it a zombie movie, and expect lots of people to go and enjoy. The people who read the book will complain about the parts that were left out (because it's a two to three hour movie). The people who didn't read the book will want to know why they paid all that money to see a zombie movie when they feel like they're watching a documentary.

    Max Brooks thinks the only thing the movie and book share is a title. Which, you know, makes sense to me. But I don't get why he thought it would be different than that. Movies aren't books, *especially* not books like World War Z. Trying to make one faithful to that structure? I wouldn't even try.

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  4. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 6 years ago

    That said, I think staying with the original structure would work as a mini-series. There's always too much material to make a movie faithful to a book, but there's about the right amount in a novella. Otherwise I often think they would have been better off going for the mini-series option as per Game of Thrones.

  5. alex5927 (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Ubersoft, i see where you're coming from. However, they could've stuck with just two or three narratives, and left the zombies the same as the book (seriously, would it have been so hard to make the extras stagger around and act really weak?), and I would have been happy. The fact that they didn't do that was dumb, since the Zombie Survival Guide described literally every aspect of them. Also, it's part of a planned trilogy, so they could've done the whole thing in three two-hour movies.

  6. Psycho Gecko (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    What I would have expected was the main character, of sorts, be the reporter who assembles the book. It can go all over the place with a short part showing him meeting the person he's interviewing next, like the little bit of information at the beginning and even ends of some chapters. Then, as the person tells their story, we cut to flashback in which the interviewee is the main character of their story. At the very end, when it's cutting around to the goodbyes, we cut back to the reporter and the interviewer at the time of their interview, just those two, where they say their final piece of the story.

    Considering some of the voices and who some characters were expies of, you could even have the real deals be in there like one of those movies they keep making about New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day that are all about ensemble casts.

  7. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    i havent read or seen, but from what I understand, the book was basically a collection of shorts, and the movie kinda sorta took the plot of ONE of the shorts, and ran with it.

  8. Tim Sevenhuysen (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Haven't read or seen WWZ, but in the context of the overall conversation...

    The Bourne Identity movie borrowed the character, the crisis, and a couple of other character and place names, and took its own direction with them. And the movie was, arguably, better than the book.

    It isn't a crime to take a book and make your own story out of it. You can certainly argue that when the departure is this significant, the title-sharing is little more than marketing, but that's business, I suppose, right?

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  9. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    I will argue that, I didn't enjoy the movies, and the books remain my second favorite spy series.

  10. Nick Bryan (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    In terms of serials, the Game of Thrones show is a great example of talented people trying to move a serialised story from one format to another, preserving what made it work but still changing where need be.

    Not that there haven't been problems - in particular I think they've occasionally struggled to balance the TV show's need to keep actors on screen regularly with George RR Martin's happiness to have major characters disappear for a while (such as the slightly fillery Daenerys season 2 or Theon season 3 storylines) - but comparing the books and show and asking "Why'd they do that?" has been weirdly fascinating. Plus the show is actually good, which helps.

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