While promoting his new film, “12 Years a Slave,” at the Toronto Film Festival, Brad Pitt was asked whether or not a sequel to “World War Z” was in the works.
“We’re certainly talking about it, yes,” he told Variety.
“World War Z,” one of the highest grossing films of 2013 and Pitt’s most successful movie ever, was the recipient of bad buzz early prior to its release but, in a reversal of fortune, went on to earn a whopping $533 million at the worldwide box office.
“We have so many ideas on the table from the time we spent developing this thing and figuring out how the zombie worlds work,” Pitt said in a new interview with Variety.
“We gotta get the script right first to determine if we go further.”
Based on the 2006 novel by Max Brooks, the zombie blockbuster underwent a complete rewrite and reshoot of the third act, hiking up the budget to nearly $200 million but “World War Z,” insiders say, ultimately prevailed thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign and positive reviews.
Paramount is said to be leaning on Pitt, whose company Plan B produced the film, to make another feature as the “World War Z” property was initially envisioned as a three-part franchise.
“We have so many ideas and so much information–we think we have a lot of stuff to mine from,” Pitt said.
Mireille Enos, who is in Toronto promoting her new film “Devil’s Knot,” told Variety said she’s on board 100% for the sequels.
“We’ll wait and see how the script turns out but yes, I’d love to come back.”
As for whom will write the second “World War Z” script remains to be seen.
Until then, Pitt next co-stars in and produces Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave,” out in limited release Oct. 18.
Brad Pitt and World War Z is featured on the April 5th issue of Entertainment Weekly, here’s the cover and an excerpt from EW.com
Nobody ever said making the most expensive zombie movie of all time would be easy. For Brad Pitt and the filmmakers behind the upcoming thriller World War Z, it certainly hasn’t been. This week’s issue of EW takes you inside the tumultuous production of the blockbuster hopeful, which has involved reshoots, re-writes, and a budget that has ballooned from $125 million to over $170 million. “These movies are very intricate puzzles, and you have to keep winding the mechanisms,” Pitt says, while on the Paramount lot.
World War Z, which is based on the best-selling book by Max Brooks, took six years to develop and shoot, and a carousel of writers had their hands on the script before the project ever moved into production. Even after the initial shoot, the script overhaul continued. In October 2011, Paramount brought on Prometheus scribe Damon Lindelof to help tweak the third act, and Lindelof enlisted The Cabin in the Woods director and co-writer Drew Goddard for some assistance. Their changes called for five weeks of reshoots — not to mention an extensive portion of the film shot in Budapest ending up on the cutting room floor. “At the time I was really interested in a more political film,” says Pitt of the cut Budapest scenes. “[But] we got bogged down in it; it was too much to explain. It gutted the fun of what these films are meant to be.”
Perhaps that sense of “fun” was missing due to reported on-set tension between Pitt and his German-born director, Marc Forster, the helmer of Finding Neverland and Quantum of Solace. When asked to address rumors that they stopped speaking to each other during shooting, Forster and Pitt both shrug. “We’re in here every day, pounding away,” Pitt says.
At the end of the day, both Forster and Pitt, who is also producing the film, want World War Z to be the exciting, franchise-launching hit they both believe it could be. (If it does well, there are plans to turn it into a trilogy.) They hope audiences will respond to the film’s lightning-fast zombies that move in animal pack formations, and — as the new trailer proves — can swarm like a colony of ants to mount a huge wall. “[We asked] how to do it differently because
it’s been done so many times and been done pretty damn well,” says Pitt.
Did their vision of fast zombies come across “pretty damn well” on the screen? That’s for you to decide when the movie hits theaters on June 21. But if you’re eager for more on World War Z’s tough road to production, check out this week’s issue. Also inside, you’ll find a first look at Wolverine, an exclusive preview of the CW’s new Vampire Diaries spin-off, and all the scoop about the battle currently raging between NBC and Leno.
Brad has given interviews on Good Morning America and Nightline
If there’s one important thing to like about Brad Pitt — and there are many likable traits to choose from — it’s the fact that the celebrated actor uses his celebrity power to do good things for people and the world.
When MTV News caught up with Pitt recently during the press day for “Killing Them Softly,” his upcoming crime-thriller-with-a-message, we asked for his thoughts on the socially progressive results in the recent election on the issues of legalizing gay marriage — a cause Pitt publicly supports — and marijuana in some states.
“Equality, absolutely, that’s what defines us. It’s what makes us great,” Pitt said when asked about what he thinks about Maine, Maryland and Washington legalizing gay marriage. “If it doesn’t sit well with your religion, let your God sort it out in the end, but that’s us. We’re equal.”
One thing that has Pitt scratching his head, however, is the fact that gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana are being linked together in the media.
“I don’t understand that,” he said, adding that the two issues should be treated with equal but separate importance and media coverage. “I do believe that we should be responsible for our own choices in talking about the drug laws, and that the drug war is an ultimate failure and that the billions and billions of dollars that we’ve committed to it, there’s got to be a better way. I don’t believe in incarceration over education — don’t get me started. But there’s real damage to drugs; that is not the same as with gay marriage. Since the last round [of elections], they’ve been linked in every article. I find that curious.”
And while the actor/philanthropist has no problem continuing to talk about and bring public awareness to the issues, he’s dreading the time when he has to have the “Say No to Drugs” conversation with his children.
“I think there’s an age of understanding and there’s a reason why there are no old drug addicts: It either kills you or you get out,” he said. “I’m going to leave it at that point right there.”
Brad Pitt recently spoke with Variety’s Christy Grosz about his work on two best picture Oscar nominees, “Moneyball” and “The Tree of Life,” and collaborating with one of the most reclusive directors in the business.
How did Terrence Malick convey his concepts for “Tree of Life” to you as an actor?
He would come in with three pages of single-spaced thoughts and maybe some dialogue. What he does is he gets up in the morning and just bangs on the typewriter for an hour, ideas for the day’s work. I learned as an actor to pick a few things from that consciousness notebook that he would give me, and I would start to build something around that.
He starts with a very dense script but (uses) that as a spring board to capture those truthful missteps. He would do stuff like push Chivo (cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki) before a shot just to put him off balance. We were in the car doing what I thought was a very important scene and all of a sudden he threw the dog in the front seat to create this chaos.
How did that work with the young actors?
I know the dialogue, at least as it is written, and Jessica (Chastain) knows the dialogue, but the boys don’t. He may tell them right before a scene, give them a response to aim for, but it’s very free form.
It was summer camp for them. They would brag when they had to go on set. Between takes they maybe had a little school or they would ride bikes down the street or play catch in the yard. He scoured all of Texas to find these boys — that’s one of his specialties.
There is that last scene where the boys are weeping out in that grass field. That was their last day of shooting. They were going to have to go back to their homes, and they lived in different parts of Texas. That was a real moment for them that can only come from the type of environment Terry creates.
What do you think compelled Malick to tell this story?
I hesitate to speak for him on that, but I know that it is deeply personal. He is a man who operates from religion, but he is also a man who has a profound love for science and philosophy. I know all these interests were pulling on him to find the story. These questions like, why are we here? Why are we so difficult with each other? Why can we not get above certain things? It’s this juxtaposition of the micro, this tiny story in Texas, with the macro of the universe.
Was there something specific about the story that drew you in?
It was that micro/macro that I was so taken with. If you look in a microscope and see a cluster of cells or tissue from the human body and then you look in a telescope out to the cosmos, there are similar patterns. What is that connection? There is certainly something bigger than we can understand.
Was it a tough balance to produce and star at the same time?
It’s actually a great extension of what an actor does already, just in an expanded role of fighting for the story. I still focused on budget and making the films with the pot of the money allotted. I find that it’s really a study in efficiency. If you have a scene that is very heavy on the costs and too heavy in conjunction with the rest of the scenes, how do you still achieve the scene but do it at a cheaper price?
Both films had a difficult path to the screen, but what made you stick with “Moneyball”?
The story itself is unique, these guys trying to level an unfair playing field. And when it all went caca, I had already put two years into it. I had done that before, and I have seen friends go through that where you have put in so much time and it just goes away. It just made me sick that that could happen on this one. I asked Sony to pick this one back up and I owe a big thanks to Amy Pascal because she did so when all conventional wisdom would tell you (otherwise).
Is there a tipping point that studios can strike where they can get a big-name star and still stay within their budgetary constraints?
George (Clooney) is doing it best; he is doing exactly that. The way producers get us actors on is if it’s something we love and have to do, we do it for a price and get the movie made. When I did “The Assassination of Jesse James,” it actually cost me money in the end. I paid to work on that one, and I think the film still lost money, but it was one of my favorites and one of the most rewarding to me.
The trade off is that when you get to a certain level, you can be passionate about a role and not really worry about whether it is paying your bills.
You can’t do them all like that but yes. There are a few very strong independent financiers that are more interested in content than profit. These guys like Bill Pohlad who did “Tree of Life” and Tim Headington and Megan Ellison are so important to what we do in the structure we are in right now. (Without them), harder-sell risk-taking films might not make it to the screen.
Actors like to observe human behavior. Is there any place that you can go anonymously and observe people?
It’s funny because I have thought about that. With celebrity comes a loss of freedom. But I’m surprised how much is banked either from previous experience or your own subconscious or what you pick up from your kids, so I have found no shortage in that well