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World War Z Script Review

Posted by LiveFor on September 6, 2008

Quiet Earth have got hold of J Michael Straczynski’s script for the excellent Max Brooks book, World War Z (highly recommended reading material). If done right this will be amazing, blind samurai gardener killing zombies with a hoe, astronauts in the International Space Station watching the vast hordes of the undead roam across the globe, the battle of Yonkers, the lobo, the zombies on the sea floor…so many excellent bits in there. Brad Pitt’s production company have it so hopefully they’ll get the budget they need to make it right.

Here is a snippet of the review:

Hundreds, then thousands of zombies crest the hill, swarming down onto the stranded refugees. What was chaos before turns to blind, mass panic. Armed men fire, but the undead tide keeps coming.

People dive into the sea, swamp sideboats, struggle and fight to get into the water.

A big boat cabled to a smaller one that has been beached to allow passengers begins pulling as more and more people jump onto the boat. It swerves, tilts, and BREAKS, spilling people into the sea.

— as the zombies plunge in as well, others tear apart those on the shore. the sea foams with people swimming toward the boats, which are themselves trying to escape, only to be caught in the maze of other boats crowding the port.

Helf is torn by what he sees, the horror, the desperate screams of men and women thrown overboard amid the waves and the death prowling below, snatching up at them and pulling them down.

The script itself is a very engrossing read and is extremely easy to visualize due to the amazing talent of writer J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Ninja Assassin). When you go to script writing school, one of the first things they tell you is to leave out all the extraneous description of camera work, style, or lighting, because that’s up to the director or the cinematographer to decide and not you. Straczynski though, is smart enough to know that his screenplay needs to be represent how the complete film could look so its full of all kinds of descriptions of styles (handheld camera, news footage, elapsed time sequences, etc) that allow you to visualize pretty much exactly how it’s gonna look.


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