Just ask Brad Pitt. He has spent weeks running on it, circling the globe, crashing movie theaters and introducing audiences to his mega-zombie thriller World War Z, in theaters today.
After years of being “drawn to the smaller, more intimate films,” like Tree of Life and Killing Them Softly, Pitt has done an about-face with World War Z. “It’s a monster of a film,” he says, made for two young zombie fans: his oldest boys with Angelina Jolie, Maddox, 11 and Pax, 9.
The popcorn flick hits theaters six months after its original release date, thanks to reshoots and a newly scripted ending. But if you were expecting Pitt to hedge about the sweat equity involved in finally releasing this morphing 3-D blockbuster, you’ve got the wrong man.
“Listen, I’m pretty proud of this film,” he says on a warm Los Angeles afternoon in May, dressed in black and hair tied back, those famous blue eyes twinkling. “I’ve really enjoyed especially this last six months, getting back in there and fixing it.”
More on that later. In War Z, Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former United Nations investigator confronted by a raging worldwide pandemic of rabid zombies. This is apocalypse by extinction, and Lane is forced to leave his wife (the Globe and Emmy-nominated Mireille Enos) and two daughters to combat a threat multiplying by the hour.
Even among zombies, Gerry Lane might be the most relatable character Pitt has played in years: a father as tough as Bourne but fairly fallible, steadfast as Bond, yet hardly as skilled. “He’s someone who has special skills and has been in war zones, and crisis was his background. But at the same time he’s this everyman,” says director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace).
“Gerry Lane,” Pitt chuckles. “One of the worst names in film ever. It was appropriate. I don’t know why it’s appropriate. Gerry with a ‘G’. He’s the anti-action hero. It’s an anti-action hero name.”
Read more. Thanks Beetlebug.