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Zombies Attack! But Can J. Michael Straczynski Handle “World War Z” Fans?

world_war_z_book_coverAs many of you heard at the recent Comic-con, J. Michael Straczynski is, indeed, adapting Max Brooks’ World War Z into a screenplay to be produced by Brad Pitt’s movie studio, Plan B. But can Straczynski, author of the wildly popular Babylon 5, handle the weighty adaptation?

In interviews, Straczynski has stated that the plot of the “World War Z” movie will have to be modified, mostly due to the decentralized nature and style of Max Brooks’ story, which followed a reporter as he traveled the world in the wake of the Zombie War, collecting stories and anecdotes from dozens of different people.

Personally, I think Straczynski should have been bold and stuck with Brooks’ format – there’s no reason, given the climate in Hollywood today, that a somewhat avant-garde zombie movie would be badly received. But according to reports, J. Michael’s already hard at work changing things around.

At the moment there hasn’t been a director or producer announced, but we’re hoping that it goes to somebody “epic” – James Cameron or Peter Jackson or somebody like that. Brooks’ novel was gritty, socially edgy and completely relevant to the world we’re living in today. With the right director, “World War Z” could turn into a powerful vehicle for social criticism both within and without the United States. With the wrong one, though, it could turn into just another zombie movie – or worse, just another war movie.

What concerns me most about the J. Michael Straczynski World War Z project is the lack of news about it – even at the recent comic convention, there was much less to be heard than was to be expceted.

What about you, Zombiephiles, where do you weigh in? Do you think Straczynski has what it takes to tackle such a weighty translation, and especially one into uncharted territory, as the zombie movie is him? Or will he pull though the way he did in Midnight Nation or Rising Stars?

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