For those of you who ran to the theaters to catch the latest entry for the zombie trend that is World War Z, some details of interest about the movie’s ending have emerged. If you are a passing fan who is only interested in seeing the newest, hottest thing at the theater, then you may not be familiar with the details of the movie’s ending. WWZ’s theatrical ending had to be re-shot, and Damon Lindelof was brought in to redo it. The reasoning behind his choices:
I said to them, There are two roads to go down here,” says Lindelof. “Is there material that can be written to make that stuff work better? To have it make sense? To have it have emotional stakes? And plot logic and all that? And Road Two, which I think is the long-shot road, is that everything changes after Brad leaves Israel… I didn’t think anyone was going to say, ‘Let’s throw it out and try something else,’?” Lindelof recalls. “So when I gave them those two roads and they sounded more interested in Road B”—which meant shooting an additional 30 to 40 minutes of the movie…”
In other words, the crew didn’t like what they had created and they hired a writer who has a gift for being obscure to fix it. Reaction to the movie has been mixed, and one reviewer in particular has this to say about the new ending:
The infamously troubled third act is pretty good, but it’s smaller and intimate, which is jarring when compared to the epic CG money shots of the rest of the movie.
It should be noted that AintItCool.com’s Quint was not overly impressed with the final product, but he felt the ending worked, even if it doesn’t fit the tenor of the first two acts. As an aside, I have not, nor do I have any intention of seeing the movie. As someone who has read the book, I have no interest in seeing a PG-13 version of an “in name only” adaptation.
The Oatmeal addressed this very issue:
For those who did see and enjoy WWZ, here’s an idea of what you may be getting in the Blu-Ray’s additional content, provided Paramount allows the original WWZ ending to see the light of day:
The plane Gerry and Segen board is bound for Moscow. Upon safely landing, everyone on board is rounded up by the military. The elderly and the sick are executed and the healthy people, including a very shaken Gerry, are immediately drafted into armed service, though not before one particularly nasty Russian soldier takes Gerry’s cell phone. The story then jumps forward an unknown amount of time and we catch up with Gerry, who now has a full beard and has been a part of Russia’s zombie-clearing squad at least long enough for it to have changed to winter. He looks almost dead inside, but the reality is that over this time he’s become an experienced and ruthless zombie killer, and he’s the leader of his own equally capable unit.
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. During this downtime we see a bit of bonding between Gerry and another English-speaking friend, Simon. The two play a guessing game of what celebrities would have survived the outbreak.
There are at least six more paragraphs discussing the original ending, which is apparently bleaker than the theatrical version. With that in mind, which do you prefer? Would the appearance of the Lobo save the movie for fans of the book who were disappointed by the adaptation?