World War Z: 10 Differences Between The Book And The Film – Screen Rant

The hype around World War Z upon its release was quite astonishing. Brad Pitt in a zombie film where the zombies were absolutely crazy and using a hive mind to climb up walls? Yes, please! What wasnt to like? Well, in the end, a fair few things.

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Firstly, there was the simply lackluster story. People were excited for a brilliantly intense zombie film full of action and uniqueness, but they just didnt get it. Secondly, the differences between the book and the film. Those who had read Max Brooks 2006 were borderline outraged by how much changed between the versions.

The biggest selling point of the World War Z film was shown almost immediately in the trailer. The zombies were fast-moving and capable of using some sort of hive mind to access a pseudo-intelligence.

This made zombies scary. This wasnt a Night Of The Living Dead situation where theyre creepy but you can definitely run or kill a zombie without much effort. This was going to be a proper horror film. Whether or not you feel this ended up being the case, it almost couldnt have been more different from the book. Max Brooks original made a point of how slowly the zombies moved.

This was probably the biggest difference between the two versions. The film follows a relatively standard zombie flick format: a zombie outbreak begins in dramatic fashion, then an unlikely hero saves the day and has an unnecessary romance at the same time.

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The book is told through the perspective of a UN employee who is interviewing various people who survived the apocalypse, gaining their personal, first-person perspective about their experiences from across a ten year time period.

In general, a big, Blockbuster American film likes to stay well on the good side of the American government and its patriotic citizens. It takes a braver director than most to point out the... numerable... faults with the US government. As you may expect, World War Z took a similarly timid approach when in film form, showing the US as the saviors of Earth.

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The book showed an arrogant US government who reacted slowly and allowed the pandemic to spread before they attempted to do anything about it, and it was too little too late. Remind you of anything? Perhaps something going on right now....?

The actual scale of everything depicted in Hollywood is basically designed to be over the top. Any film that is going to attract a massive audience isnt going to be a perfectly believable reflection of how the world works, and the same goes for World War Z.

The film shows the entire world coming to a standstill as the zombies take over, making everything a lot more intense and dangerous, but a lot less believable, than the book. In the book, there are many places that arent hit at all.

Supporting that same point, the film had to make sure to up the scale and drama even further. While the book shows the horrifying effect of how the governments slow reaction can lead to a disaster almost impossible to stop, it lets it play out over ten years. This is believable and turns the pandemic into a looming threat.

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The film takes a very different approach and simply forces everything through in a matter of weeks. Rather than letting things play out slowly, the world is overrun in a ludicrously short time, making it all seem a bit too Hollywood to be believed.

Considering the issue of timing is already present, the film adaptation had to do something to make the zombie transformation time make sense.

The books show that people can be infected without turning for up to a few weeks. Obviously, given the film barely covers a time period longer than this, it wouldnt have worked. Instead, they make sure the zombies were able to change pretty much as soon as they were bitten, adding to the fast pace of the film.

One of the most important parts of the book is the Battle Of Yonkers. This particular event is one of the most widely loved parts of the book and depicts an incredible battle scene in Yonkers, New York. The military attempts to fight off the zombies during a live televised event that should boost morale, and are, in effect, totally destroyed.

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Considering the film was aiming for as much Hollywood spectacle as possible, it seems bizarre that they chose to avoid this, but it doesnt appear in the film in any way.

In the film, North Korea takes a particularly interesting approach to combating the spread of the virus. They remove the teeth of all citizens, and as such, they are unable to bite each other.

It seems drastic, but given the circumstances, its actually quite a good idea. In the book, they take a much less direct route, with it being suggested that the population has been moved underground indefinitely.

Of course, in a massive Blockbuster, you have to have an ending, and in almost every case, a happy one. Despite the losses and suffering depicted in World War Z, the inevitable vaccine is produced.

It doesnt actually cure the virus or kill the zombies, but it does camouflage humans, meaning they will soon be able to end the pandemic. This all happened in a couple of weeks, remember. The book takes a completely different approach, with the storyline being set twenty years after the pandemic, with humanity hopeful to fully overcome it eventually.

The main problem with listing the ten biggest differences between World War Z in book form and its film remake is where to put everything else. Aside from the title and the concept of zombies biting people (which, lets remember, is certainly not an uncommon storyline), the two share absolutely nothing.

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Without question, the film could have been made in exactly the same way, just with a different title, and not a single human being on earth would have been able to connect the two versions.

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World War Z: 10 Differences Between The Book And The Film - Screen Rant

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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