World War Z
|World War Z is a 2013 American apocalyptic horror film directed by Marc Forster. The screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Max Brooks. The film stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, a former United Nations investigator who must travel the world to find a way to stop a zombie-like pandemic.
Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment secured the film rights in 2007 and Forster was approached to direct. In 2009, Carnahan was hired to rewrite the script to the film. Filming began in July 2011 in Malta on an estimated $125 million budget, before moving to Glasgow in August 2011 and Budapest in October 2011. Originally set for a December 2012 release, the production suffered some setbacks. In June 2012, the film’s release date was pushed back and the crew returned to Budapest for seven weeks of additional shooting. Damon Lindelof was hired to rewrite the third act, but did not have the time to finish the script and Drew Goddard was hired to rewrite it. The reshoots took place between September and October 2012.
World War Z premiered in London on June 2, 2013 and was chosen to open the 35th Moscow International Film Festival. The film was released on June 21, 2013 in the United States in 2D and RealD 3D.
Former UN employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), his wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and their two daughters sit in heavy Philadelphia traffic when the city is attacked by a horde of zombies. As the chaos spreads, the Lanes escape the city and arrives at Newark, New Jersey. They take refuge in an apartment complex, together with another family. Deputy Secretary-General Thierry Umutoni (Fana Mokoena) – an old friend of Gerry’s – calls and tells the family that he is sending a helicopter to rescue them.
The helicopter takes the Lanes to a U.S. Navy vessel off the coast of New York City, where a team of scientists and military personnel are analyzing the scope of the worldwide outbreak. A virologist, Dr. Andrew Fassbach (Elyes Gabel), argues that the plague is a virus, whose origin must be found in order for a vaccine to be developed. Because of his expertise as a former UN investigator, Gerry is tasked with helping Fassbach find the outbreak’s source. Gerry reluctantly agrees to help and is sent to Camp Humphreys, a military base in South Korea.
Moments after arriving at the base, Gerry’s team is attacked by zombies. Fassbach is killed after accidently shooting himself. After being rescued by the base’s surviving personnel, Gerry learns that the zombies are attracted to noise. Gunter Haffner (David Morse), a former CIA operative, tells Gerry to go to Jerusalem, where the Israeli Mossad had established a safe zone just before the outbreak was officially acknowledged, implying Israel might have had prior knowledge of what was to come. As Gerry and his team bikes stealthy to the plane, Karin calls him through his walkie-talkie, emitting a loud sound that attracted the zombies. The infected attacks and kill several of the soldiers while covering Gerry and his pilot as they escape.
In Jerusalem, Gerry meets Mossad leader Jurgen Warmbrunn (Ludi Boeken), who explains that the Mossad had months earlier intercepted communications from an army general in India, who stated that Indian troops were fighting the “rakshasa”, or “dead spirits”. With this knowledge, the country quarantined itself. Jurgen then takes Gerry to the gates of the walls that were built by the Israelis after quarantining the country. The zombies begin to climb the protective wall because of the loud singing of the Israelis (because they are attracted to noise), forming a massive pile that eventually succeeds in entering the city. Jurgen then orders Gerry’s escorts to accompany him to his airplane. While fleeing, Gerry notices that an old man and an emaciated boy are ignored by the zombies. While escaping, Segen (Daniella Kertesz), Gerry’s escort, is bitten by a zombie. Gerry quickly amputates her hand to stop the spread of the infection. Gerry and Segen are eventually forced to escape Israel on an airliner when Gerry’s pilot panics and flies away.
Contacting Thierry, they are diverted to a WHO research facility in Cardiff, Wales. While in the air, a stowaway zombie is released and attacks the passengers. The plane crashes after Gerry detonates a grenade to kill the zombies. Segen and Gerry proceed as the only apparent survivors of the crash.
After arriving at the facility, Gerry reveals a theory he has, based on the fact that the old man and the sickly boy were ignored: the infected do not bite people who are seriously injured or already terminally ill, since they would be unsuitable as hosts for viral reproduction. He volunteers to inject himself with a terminal but curable pathogen to see if his idea works. However, the wing of the building in which the pathogens are stored was overrun by zombies after a doctor accidentally infected himself. Gerry decides to go get a pathogen regardless, while Segen and one of the WHO members follow him for backup. They fight their way through the zombies, and Gerry finally gets to the pathogen vault. After getting cornered inside the vault by a lone zombie, Gerry’s only course of action is to perform an impromptu test of his theory. He injects himself and opens the vault door – the zombie ignores him. After he makes it back to the safe part of the facility, everyone rejoices at his theory’s success, and the doctors cure him of the pathogen.
Gerry returns to his family, now relocated off the ship and to a safe zone in Freeport, Nova Scotia. A “vaccine” derived from deadly pathogens is developed that can act as camouflage for the troops battling the infected. Human offensives begin against the zombies, and hope is restored. Gerry comments, “This isn’t the end. Not even close.”