World War Z Wins Box Office, Max Brooks Talks About Film!

Herner Klenthur

Despite the nay sayers including myself World War Z has managed to scare up a serious box office this weekend. Not only did it manage to bring in approximately $66million not counting today it also toppled Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.

It did both opening in less theatres. World War Z was no doubt driven to the top with the help of Brad Pitt’s name attached to it. World War Z has a massive fan base but I highly doubt that the majority of mainstream movie fans have any clue that World War Z is based off the works of Max Brooks.

World War Z has gotten heat from fans for two reasons. Firstly it is not anything like the incredibly popular book and secondly the CGI. The CGI zombie special effects are just outright ridiculous making the zombies appear more like ants then zombies causing even me to speak out against the film. That said I think that Max Brooks said it best in an interview with Mansfield University where he noted that fans should see the movie as the movie and not compare it to the books.

Max Brooks had ZERO creative input to the film which as Max points out is the norm. He did not even get invited to see the script until after Brad Pitt’s production company PLAN B had started filming. Max Brooks decided not to read the script because he was afraid he would hate it. Worse he was afraid he might love the script and end up hating the final product after inevitable edits and reshoots.

The film rights for Max Brooks book World War Z were battled for even before the book was released in 2005. Brad Pitt’s production company and Leonardo Di’Caprio aggressively went after the rights until Max Brooks settled on Brad Pitt’s production company. That was the end of Max Brooks involvement.


Movies are NEVER as good as the books and Max Brooks had made it clear the book is the book the movie is the movie and the two are very different. It sounds like Max only regrets that his legions of fans will never get to see the Battle of Yonkers or a movie that is true to the book.

Flay Otters who writes for us reviewed World War Z and much to my surprise he thinks if you do as Max Brooks advised and see the movie as a stand alone production that its worth the money;

…World War Z is absolutely not an overproduced, unmitigated disaster some have predicted it would be. It is, at times, a bracing and tense disaster epic that writes its own rules for not only zombies, but how to tell a zombie story.

It does, however, lack some key moments of quiet contemplation that I think might’ve upped the human stakes and laid bare the emotional toll a disaster of this type would take. Taken as a whole, I enjoyed the film quite a bit and had a lot of fun with it for what it was. I’d definitely say the giant spectacle of it all is well worth the price of admission.

Are you going to go and see World War Z in theatres? Although I still think the ant-zombies are ridiculous I will be going this afternoon at 3 and hopefully it will be money well spent.


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      1. floridapossum June 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm

        This is what I posted on FB, and still stand by it.

        “World War Z, What a fun romp in the park. I enjoyed it immensely for what it was, an adrenalinized, non-stop, big budget zombie movie. If you’re looking for something with deep meaning, this one isn’t for you. But if it’s action you’re craving, this one will tire you out. Fastest 2 hours of my life.”


      2. floridapossum June 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm

        @Herner Klenthur Still need for you to contact me.

      3. peggy coffey June 23, 2013 at 11:13 pm

        Will I see it? No. I loved the book.

        • digitalbeachbum June 27, 2013 at 11:46 am

          You are more intelligent that I am; I saw it last night and I regret it.

      4. Abdeel Morales June 24, 2013 at 3:11 am

        That’s what I say since the first trailer apears. This is not Max Brooks WWZ they just fucked up, maybe it colud be a good movie (or not), however it will be a blockbuster & I will see it in teathers but I’ll pretend it is other movie (cuz it is) , “Gerry the Survivor” it is my alternate name for this.

      5. daniel June 24, 2013 at 3:28 am

        I want my money back. People actually laughed at the zombies. What a terrible movie and rip off of the name of a well written and thought out book. I’m thrilled Max Brooks had nothing to do with this massive waste of great potential. Shame on the writers and producers

        • digitalbeachbum June 27, 2013 at 11:33 am

          I gotta agree with you. I saw the movie last night and there were people around me laughing at the movie (zombies). The zombies were ridiculous. The only zombie scenes I actually give credit to are when the characters are in the WHO facility and the zombies are shuffling about; the other zombies sucked.

      6. Mavis June 24, 2013 at 3:55 am

        I might. Although, I’ve read the book and enjoyed it, I’ll just have to see it for what it is. Hell, I love re watching all the resident evil movies. The latest installment had no plot but the action was worth my money. It was a fun popcorn film. If world war z is pretty much the same thing then ill definitely enjoy it:)

      7. Nick G. June 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm

        I must start this comment with the statement that I have not had the pleasure of reading the Max Brooks book, so going into this film with no expectations outside of wanting to be entertained was definitely a plus for me. I thought he film was incredibly fun, action packed, very tense at times and played as the perfect summer popcorn film. I am definitely looking forward to a sequel should one pop up and urge those that have not yet seen this film to reserve judgment until you have the chance to judge for yourself. I am not a person new to horror movies as I have been watching them since I was in diapers (as my family has told me on many occasions), so I think it is safe to say that I am pretty well versed in all types of horror films. This movie will do what it has set out to do. Entertain and thrill! I give it a thumbs hope and hope that others give it a chance as it is the type of movie that was made for summer!

        • Joe June 26, 2013 at 1:30 am

          And it’s a damn shame that you think this is all ok, that something can deviate so far from it’s source material. I suppose I wouldn’t be wrong too assume that you just ABSOLUTELY LOVE The Walking Dead as well? It would explain a lot.

        • bronson125 October 17, 2013 at 3:10 am

          You can’t use an ad hominem to prove a point. The Walking Dead and World War Z are completely different things, so if you’re going to try and complain about someone liking a movie you don’t, keep it in context.

          You can’t fault someone for liking something simply because you didn’t. Why does someone who hasn’t read the book need to read the book in order to watch the movie? Why can’t they like it regardless of whether or not they read the book? The reason this is okay is because the book is virtually un-filmable unless it was in a TV show, which would then be deemed a knock off of The Walking Dead TV show.

          You would more than likely also not be happy with it because you have to make changes no matter what between a book and the film for pacing. When Max Brooks isn’t even offended by a movie based on his works, and actually liked it, it makes you look like you’re just whiny. Max Brooks took the movie as their version around the same events, which is exactly what it is. He came up with the idea and they give him credit to that idea, but made their own thing. They did keep in form with the book in that it goes all over, but jumping to a different sequence with different characters is too jarring in a film unless you do it like Creepeshow. In this case, the character of Gerry really is perfect in his existence because he gives a reason for the traveling to the different set pieces, regardless of your love or hate for Brad Pitt.

          Contrary to what you want to believe, you are not better because you read the book and your opinion on the movie means absolutely nothing from a critical standpoint because you can’t be anything except biased.

      8. Hal June 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm

        World WAr Z sucks balls becuase of Brad Shitt.

      9. Andrew Christianson June 27, 2013 at 12:01 am

        I’m more confused as to why they got in a bidding war over the rights to World War Z and then chose to not even use anything worthwhile from it. They could haze done a movie called Zombie War and done this. Then I would have probably not been nearly as bothered. It was mediocre action at best. PG, for a zombie movie. Give me a break.

      10. RE:2FTW June 27, 2013 at 2:50 am

        Ok, well I love brad Pitt (I am a married w/children man) because of the movies he plays in and his uncanny ability to make you believe he is the character he is playing, as all my favorite actors do. so I could not for the life of me understand why he would choose to act in such a movie that was so terribly filmed and directed. Every time zombie was on screen the camera was shaking so bad I could barely see it , and I loved Cloverfield, by the way. Then there were points to the movie that made absolutely no sense like


        why would you go back into town where all the infected were, why not go out of town to an open field away from danger? There was no explanation whatsoever on how the zombies were able to move so fast for so long after being dead. I can completely understand if they run when they were immediately infected but not after they been dead for weeks. And what the hell happened to the guy who was refueling the plane, not the guy who got bit but the one who actually detach the hose? How the hell do running zombies tell if somebody is sick? last time I checked, dogs who have noses 200 to 1000 times more powerful than humans, have to be up close to you to smell that you’re sick. How the hell did the people in the WHO survive for so long when all the food was in the cafeteria behind locked doors? And how does a guy who is recovering from being stabbed clean through run like he is in a marathon without any pain killers that we can see being administered? I’m sure there were many more absurdities, I just can’t remember them all. if these issues had been fixed, then the movie might have been great (so long as it wasn’t called WWZ) but I don’t think it would ever have been anywhere near as good as the book, or dawn of the dead remake.

        • bronson125 October 17, 2013 at 2:43 am

          1) They had no food and no guarantee of when they were going to be picked up, plus the girl didn’t have the medicine she needed.
          2) I’ll give you that.
          3) He obviously died. You really can’t piece that together by the fact they were surrounded by zombies?
          4)You’re assuming they smell it as apposed to being able to sense it. Neither the book nor the movie explain this, so requiring the film to makes no sense in your argument.
          5)How do you know all of the food was there? How do you know they didn’t grab it before they got out? Again, you’re assuming, which makes this argument irrelevant.
          6)I’ll give you that, except you don’t know that he didn’t have painkillers since they stitched him up. It’s perfectly logical they did give him pain killers, but I won’t argue that point.

          If you’re going to point out absurdities, make sure you actually think through them instead of jumping to the negative. It sounds like, despite liking Brad Pitt, you wanted to hate this movie so you tried to nit pick this movie to death, making for irrelevant arguments. I don’t care if you hate the movie or not, but if your reasoning is simply as shallow and asinine as “It isn’t like the book,” then put that and move on. Don’t pretend you’re justified in your opinion because you can point out mostly false errors.

      11. digitalbeachbum June 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

        I saw this movie last night and I was reluctant to go see it. No, I’m not a zombie-traditionalist; I’m open-minded to other possibilities. However, this movie is all about visuals and nothing more, nothing less. There are too many burps in the script to make it seem realistic. Yeah, I know, zombies aren’t real and we aren’t going to have an epidemic of any zombie hordes. Yet when I go to a movie I want to be tricked in to thinking that something could be possible. I want to be scared if it is a zombie movie. I want to go home at night and think, “Holy crap I can’t turn the lights on because there is something lurking outside in the dark”. This movie DOES NOT SCARE. It is boring. So when I grade a movie I base it on six things: visuals, audio, acting, directing, script and believability. I give two points for visual and audio. I was going to give a point for acting but I wasn’t really impressed. The only acting which I found exciting was Daniella Kertesz, who was the Israelis soldier, Segen.

        • digitalbeachbum June 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

          PS – I forgot to mention that this movie is Brad Pitt’s vehicle to promote his political and environmental view points. It’s similar to “28 Days Later” which was a UK anti-war film.

      12. Mari P July 1, 2013 at 1:10 am

        I always love when people are trying to get “meaningful dialogue” out of movies like this. I LOVED the
        Movie- furthermore a few years ago when everyone waxed poetic about the guide, I still had no desire to know anything about anything Max Brooks- but this movie, flawed though you die hards may find it, is what FINALLY drove me to buy the book- and it was a PERFECT sequence that way. The movie is a prequel of sorts and I like how they used some of the events in the book to tie it together. It did not bother me that book zombies were slow and movie zombies were fast. They were both very entertaining. I love Walking Dead in BOTH mediums and I’m not going to split hairs on ‘accuracy’. It’s zombies! They can be whatever the writer or director wants!
        The second movie I ever worked in was called Re-Kill. I was new kill and we RAN like cheetahs when the director called, “action.” I pulled both groin muscles running into machine gun fire; another actor cut her hands when we jumped on a moving vehicle. We had a dead cat upwind from us for the two weeks we did reshoots. The stench was horrible and the sadistic A.D. said it helped us stay ‘in the moment’. Sometimes we were told to be Thriller zombies othertimes we were 28 Days Later zombies. ( As bad as the conditions were all of us Zacks agree to this day it was the most fun we ever had on set.) and even as we kept prosthetics on for days at a time (much easier on the SFX MUAs) and wore the same dirty rags day after day, consumed marginally edible food ( the latex body parts we chewed were tastier) we never once took it as seriously as you guys do. Zombies are supposed to be scary, dangerous and hard to eliminate. Everything else is up for grabs. BTW, there is no redemption for me- I also loved Warm Bodies- the movie.

      13. Jake Young July 7, 2013 at 4:25 am

        Guys, I agree that the movie went far from the book, but how could it stick to the book? The book was different stories jumping all around the globe. That would not make a good movie. Every story is a new character to set up a story and to get you connected to. There is no way that could happen in a 2 hour movie, or even a 3 hour movie like Lord of the Rings. I feel that the filmmakers did kind of tie in the jumping around the the world with Gerry going around to different parts of the globe. I read the book and loved it. I saw the movie and loved it as well. Hate me for this I don’t care, but you fanboys are too picky. You’d hate on anything they made.

        • Maurice Pelletier July 23, 2013 at 6:55 am

          Jake you make a good point. However, I think that a movie closer to the book could have been made. The movie is so completely different it really doesn’t warrant being called World War Z. So obviously the name was purchased solely to sell the movie and not to tell the Max Brooks story. Doesn’t that seen kind of like crap?

      14. Maurice Pelletier July 23, 2013 at 6:45 am

        Yuck! They did the same thing with the I Robot movie. An earlier screenplay written by Harlan Ellison and that Asimov actually approved is brilliant. You can pick this up on Amazon. The illustrations are also wonderful. Unfortunately this is not the movie they made. The Will Smith movie was pretty good in it’s own right but really nothing much to do with Asimov’s vision of things. So really it’s about purchasing a title and then creating a version that may appeal to a larger audience. What sucks about this is that everything that made the story popular in the first place is thrown out. So the grassroots fans are the ones that get to be very disappointed and the rest are tricked into thinking this is the real story.

        • bronson125 October 17, 2013 at 3:16 am

          Have you ever met a single person that thought the movie was probably exactly the same as the book? Every person I meet assumes it’s not, and that it’s heavily modified. You also can’t compare I, Robot to this movie because the title was bought and shelved for about 20 years. They then wrote the movie you watched with a different title. Realizing that they had a name sitting on a shelf that connected more with people that liked robots, they decided to change the title. The movie then does exactly what Isaac Asimov hated; making a stupid, action sci-fi, and violating every law he had created. The whole reason Asimov even wrote sci-fi is because he was tired of the genre always being terribly written and wanted it to be more intelligent.

          World War Z was in a bidding war then immediately made afterwards. They didn’t have a script until after the rights were bought, so from the beginning this movie was always what it was going to be.

          If you’re going to compare two things together make sure they have similar circumstances in the background instead of assuming that because one fact is the same, all must equally be.

      15. Shleay July 30, 2013 at 2:54 am

        I have read the books. I am a total fangirl of Brooks. And when I saw the trailer for the movie, I knew something was up. I haven’t seen the movie yet. But I knew there must be something afoot. The trailers all looked “during the Great Panic”. That’s not what the book was about! It was about all the personal accounts of the survivors. Then I thought, well, maybe they are planning sequels. Like Pitt had a plan to tell the prequel and all the rest of the book. There had to be more. And there was! Paramount bought the rights and has already started the planning of the sequels. I knew it! I knew they had to have a more elaborate plan for this occulted phenomenon. They couldn’t just blow the whole story out of the water. Which was what the movie, essentially, did. They are planning on telling the “Great Panic” in World War Z. Then the “Efforts” in the #2. Then the cleanup in #3. Hold tight fellow Brooks-ists. The story will be told.