We already knew about the rewrites and reshoots plaguing Brad Pitt's big-screen adaptation of World War Z, but the flick's problems apparently don't end there. According to inside sources, things have gotten so bad that Pitt and director Marc Forster aren't speaking.
News of a rift between Pitt, who's both starring in and producing the ever-more-expensive zombie flick, and the director he once fought to hire comes courtesy of Vulture, which cites "multiple production sources" claiming the pair are only communicating through intermediaries as the flick heads into a three-week reshoot period.
It might sound like the plot of a sitcom episode, but it's seriously bad news for a movie with a budget now ballooning past $170 million that still doesn't have a satisfactory ending. So what's Paramount Pictures to do? According to one source, they're looking at these options:
"The studio is cultivating multiple options," the source said. "One is to try scrapping [the ending] and trying something different: They want to construct an entirely new ending to the movie. The other is to try salvaging it, because decent action can be elevated, and even s----y action can be saved. This is not an unmitigated disaster; it is salvageable."
Among the people helping to try and salvage the flick is Lost and Prometheus co-writer Damon Lindelof, who took a look at the flick last month to offer some re-scripting advice and, according to sources, told the studio it needed serious restructuring work that he didn't have time to do. Cue Lindelof's former Lost cohort and Cabin in the Woods writer Drew Goddard, who just got roped into the World War Z salvage effort. Sources say Lindelof will stick around long enough to help Goddard restructure some things, but even the two of them might not be enough to satisfy the studio. Word is that Oscar-winning writer Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) is also lending a hand.
But even if all these writers manage to fix the flick to the studio's liking, how those new pages are implemented is something of a problem. Apparently Pitt's the one who has final approval over the script, not Forster, and if the two of them aren't talking it'll be really hard to both get the pages approved and get the logistics of reshooting locked down. If the pages aren't approved, Paramount can't calculate how much reshoots cost, and if Paramount can't calculate reshoot costs, it can't decide what can and can't be added to the flick's already massive budget.
With all the complications the Pitt/Forster rift is causing, it seems the practical thing would be to simply pull another director in. Sources say that's "likely," but even if it happens Pitt can't just kick Forster off the set.
"They have to be careful, because the DGA has strict rules that say Forster has to be there on the set," one source said."But someone is likely to be brought in to help direct the new action scenes."
Remember the good old days when we thought we'd see this movie by Christmas? World War Z now has a June 2013 release date, but with so many troubles plaguing the flick, that could turn into a pipe dream.