Forster ("Monster's Ball," "Quantum of Solace") and his multiple writers (Matthew Michael Carnahan, Damon Lindelof, Drew Goddard) condensed the stories and moved the overall narrative to the beginning of the outbreak. 

While the book takes place over a decade or so, from initial outbreak to ongoing clean-up efforts, Forster revealed that the film takes place over just a few days, near the beginning of the outbreak. Therefore, many of the book's stories about the massive, New Deal-style mobilization of the American survivors, the door-to-door clean-up, and the seemingly endless aftermath won't be seen in the film, although Pitt has hinted that "WWZ" could be the first film in a trilogy.  Likewise, Forster noted that some of the book's characters will be seen fleetingly or at least mentioned in the film, including Jurgen Waimbrunn.

The relentless scenes we saw at Paramount this week offered very little time to breathe, but Forster assured the press that the film does have some reflective moments, in line with Brooks' book.
Behind the scenes, "Wold War Z" went through numerous hoops and hurdles on its way to the big screen, including financing troubles, a much-publicized run-in with Hungarian anti-terrorists squads, and last-minute re-writes from "Lost" alumni Lindelof and Goddard that led to re-shoots, including an altered ending. 

Forster noted that there was a "big difference" between what was originally shot and the new ending, although he wouldn't elaborate on what the difference was. He called the re-shoot process "refreshing," adding that Bergman and Fellini often re-worked endings upon reflection. However, Bergman and Fellini never made a zombie movie with a rumored budget of $200 million. 

The director also remains unfazed by fans who are prematurely upset by the film's PG-13 rating and its deviations from the book. "There will always be discussion and controversy on every zombie movie," he contended. "Some zombie fans you will not be able to make happy, and some zombie fans will embrace it"  

"I hope that most of the zombie fans will appreciate all the new things we have in the movie that they haven't seen before in this particular genre," Forster added. 

He described "WWZ" as "a film about a global crisis. Yes, it is a zombie film, but it speaks about some global issues. It might bring in other viewers."

"World War Z" also stars Julia Levy-Boeken, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox, Elyes Gabel and David Morse.

"World War Z" will be released June 21 in 2D and RealD 3D.
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Dave Lewis has been a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer and editor for nearly ten years. Originally hailing from Minneapolis, he moved to L.A. in 1996 to attend USC, before working for various periodicals and web sites including a lengthy stint at He joined the HitFix staff in 2011.