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While we’re on the subject of zombies on the big screen, what’s the deal with Brad Pitt’s “World War Z”, the big-time zombie epic that everyone involved was already talking about being the first of a trilogy (of course), even before the film opened? Then the troubles started. And right now, I don’t think anyone is talking trilogy anymore; right now, I think everyone involved with the film (and whoever put money into it — here’s looking at you, Paramount) are just hoping they end up with more than 52 minutes of usable footage.
Cause that’s apparently how many minutes the film’s director Mark Forster was able to show the studio execs, reports THR. 52 whopping minutes from a reported $125 million production budget. Yikes.
Which of course explains why Paramount was so pro-active about hiring new writers to bang out a completely new Third Act for them (did one even exist before?), and has now scheduled the film for a lengthy seven-week (or thereabouts) re-shoot in London, with all the cast, including star Brad Pitt, expected back to salvage what is quickly becoming a near-legendary and expensive problem.
And oh, there are apparently issues with Keanu Reeves’ white-guy-in-Feudal-Japan movie “47 Ronin”, too. The film, with first-time director Carl Rinsch, is currently going through additional shoots in order to “bolster Reeves as the hero and enhance the romance.” Studio suits were displeased with Rinsch’s handling of the film’s final battle as well. “47 Ronin” is even more expensive than “World War Z”, clocking in with a $175 million dollar budget. Despite a smaller expected reshoot window than “World War Z”, “47 Ronin’s” release date has been bumped almost a year, and now won’t open until December 2013 (it was originally set for February 2013).
The funny thing here is that “World War Z” and “47 Ronin” will probably still do well when they finally resolve their issues and open in theaters, even if the films themselves turn out to be utter crap. The combination of Brad Pitt/Keanu Reeves starring and the two respective genres will help the films open big, because let’s face it, 99% of the world moviegoing public don’t care about all this “inside baseball” stuff, about how the film got from Point A to Point B. You care, because you’re reading this site; and I care, because I’m writing it. But everyone else? Could care less.