Written by Sarah

THIS is why I love Comic Con. At today’s book signing for Avatar Press, Max Brooks (son of Mel) confirmed to MTV News that the long-awaited film adaptation of his novel World War Z: An oral history of the zombie war would be going into production next year, to be released in summer 2012.

In 2007 Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment took on Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way in a bitter bidding war for rights to Z and Pitt emerged victorious, shelling out high six-figures for Brooks’ novel. Paramount backed the project through Plan B’s output deal with them, a script was written, and a director (Marc Forster, Quantum of Solace) was engaged. Everything appeared to be on track for a 2009 production but early last summer the project fell through for unknown reasons. It was sent back to scripting stage and Forster’s involvement was questionable.

According to Brooks, Forster is still on board, and Brad Pitt is officially signed to star. No surprise there - it’s been rumored since 2007 that Pitt will play zombie-slaying mercenary T. Sean Collins, though I wonder if Collins and another soldier character may have been combined to create a beefier role. Brooks also revealed that Paramount has optioned the rights to his first book, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete protection from the living dead and a graphic novel called The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded attacks, which details zombie attacks throughout history. Paramount may be structuring for a franchise, but World War Z is a hugely complex alternate reality and it’s more likely that the studio wants to put any information the filmmakers may want at their disposal.

You may think I’m just geeking out over a favorite book, but Z was a huge bestseller, and it’s been one of the biggest projects in development over the last three years. The expectations for Z aren’t just that it be a cool movie, or even a summer blockbuster. Z is supposed to be the zombie movie that wins Oscars. What? Yes. Could it do it? Yes. The book is that good. If they stick to what Brooks gave them, it will be hard to mess this one up. So far, Plan B and Paramount have been so cagey and careful with this property that I believe they are taking it seriously. A blockbuster won’t be enough for them, either.

World War Z could be not only the greatest zombie movie, but also the greatest apocalyptic vision brought to film. Of all time.

(Note from Lainey: um, fangirling over zombies is probably the most excited I’ve seen Sarah. Ever.)

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