Sunday, February 5, 2012

Max Brooks Fresh from WWZ Filming Location

Normally I would link to an article like this rather than cut and paste the whole thing to this blog, but I didn't see a way to link to a particular item on the source website:



Q: You just returned from the set of Paramount’s World War Z adaptation starring Brad Pitt. What can you tell us about the movie?

I didn’t get a chance to see much. The scene I witnessed was immense and complicated and there was a lot of prep time between shots. I can say that this movie is truly massive. I witnessed hundreds of extras, civilians, police, and soldiers. As epic as it looked, I was told that similar scenes were already shot in different locations like Cornwall and Malta. I hear they will be shooting more outside of London and somewhere in Eastern Europe. So far it seems to be as large and global as my book. 

Q: World War Z is one of the biggest selling original zombie novels of all time. Talk about its genesis, including your discussions with the publisher over the title. 

I wanted to call it Zombie War. It was a simple title that I thought described the story quite well. I’d written a book on how to survive zombies that I called The Zombie Survival Guide, so when writing a book about a worldwide war against zombies, why not call it Zombie War. The publisher was against the title because, at the time, zombies were seen as too niche and they thought some people might be turned off by that word. My agent, Ed Victor, had once jokingly called it “World War Z” so I thought that might be a good compromise. 

Q: This October a $7.99 mass-market edition of World War Z is being released. To date, there are almost 1 million copies in print of it. How has the reaction differed since the novel first came out in September 2006?

I never, EVER expected this book to do remotely as well as it has. I mean, c’mon! A book about zombies told as a Studs Terkelesque oral history? I’m still convinced that most of the sold copies were bought by my dad. 

Q: There is also a new chapter to your #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks. The new chapter is called “Downtown L.A.” Describe what fans can expect here.

The story comes right out of the back of The Zombie Survival Guide. It was supposed to be in the original recorded attacks, but wasn’t finished in time for the release of the comic. It essentially covers a zombie outbreak right in the heart of downtown L.A. in the early 1990s. Two rival street gangs have to unite against the living dead. In one sense, it’s a microcosm of World War Z. 

Q: Why have zombies become so mainstream? They used to have a slightly strange cult following. Now they’re everywhere in all aspects of pop culture.

I think they reflect our very real anxieties of these crazy scary times. A zombie story gives people a fictional lens to see the real problems of the world. You can deal with societal breakdown, famine, disease, chaos in the streets, but as long as the catalyst for all of them is zombies, you can still sleep.

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