The film surged past low $35-$50 million expectations to earn $66 million at theatres. Though it didn’t earn more than Disney film “Monsters University,” Pitt’s movie is already doing well earning more than $100 million worldwide.
That said, reviews point out the final act of the film feels slightly out of place with the rest.
We see Pitt’s character Gerry Lane head to a World Health organisation lab where he zones in on a potential cure to the outbreak.
Anyone following news of the troubled film will know that wasn’t the original ending to the zombie thriller.
Vanity Fair reported in a lengthy June feature that filmmakers tossed out an “expensive 12-minute climactic battle scene” which ended up ballooning the cost of the film to north of $200 million.
“Lost” and “Prometheus” writer Damon Lindelof was brought in to review the film and offered advice on reshooting the last 30-40 minutes.
What didn’t you get to see in theatres?
According to Vanity Fair (VF), the ending is heavily toned down from a dark, original all-out zombie action sequence with Pitt slashing past hordes of the dead that was described as “Rambo versus the zombies.”
The point at which the film changes is when Pitt hops on a plane in Jerusalem. The original ending had Pitt travelling to Russia in what sounded like an extended version of the previous scene.
“The undead lay siege to Moscow’s Red Square but are beaten back by an army of thousands, who, enslaved by the Russians, are forced to fight in ragtag battalions, lopping off the heads of the surging zombies with shovel-like weapons called lobos, short for ‘lobotomizers.'”
“The Russian battle set up Brad Pitt as a warrior hero hacking his way through the bodies of the undead, not as the sympathetic family man he had portrayed earlier in the filming, fighting the zombies so he could get home to his family.”
“In one scene in the script, Pitt lagged behind a row of older and sick people who appeared to be a protective shield against the zombie onslaught, a move some studio executives worried made the star appear unsympathetic.”
VF adds that the importance of the final action scene was to set up potential “World War Z” sequels.
Since the release of VF’s article, Movies.com released an entire blurb on the original ending claiming to have read the script.
Here’s an excerpt of the action:
“Gerry’s unit is tasked with clearing subway tunnels of zombie hordes. This is the first time we see the Lobo, a perfected zombie-killing tool that’s sort of a shovel/battle axe that would have been one of the few things from the book to make it into the movie. Gerry and his team use them to slice their way through every poor zombie that tracks them through the tunnels by following their sounds. It’s all routine work for them, and when they’re not in the tunnels killing, they’re basically just preparing to go back in.”
You can read it all here.
If you’re bummed about the ending to the film, there’s always the chance we’ll get to see part of it as an extra on the Blu-ray.
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