EXCLUSIVE: ‘World War Z’ Script Is Still ‘A Few Weeks’ Away, Max Brooks Says

Max Brooks, the author of “World War Z,” told us back in October that a script for the movie adaptation — originally written by J. Michael Straczynski and currently getting a rewrite from Matthew Michael Carnahan — was a few weeks away. MTV Splash Page editor Rick Marshall spoke with Brooks at C2E2 last week and asked him for an update. The short version? A script is still coming, still close.

“As far as I know, the whole world, from you to me to the fans here [at C2E2] to guys sitting in caves in Afghanistan, are all waiting for Matt Carnahan to finish his latest draft,” he said. “That should happen within a few weeks, that’s what I’m hearing.”

As the book’s writer, Brooks hasn’t exactly been closely involved since the story went out into the hands of the movie people. He’s seen the script, the first draft that Straczynski wrote, and the thought it was “brilliant.” Brooks doesn’t want to reveal much about how the story unfolds, but he did confirm to Rick that the book’s oral history format won’t carry over; no faux-documentary here.

“It’s a [narrative-driven] movie,” he explained. “[Straczynski’s] ability to pick and choose what was important, or what was integral to a story, and to be able to weave it together into a cohesive story, I thought was phenomenal.”

Now it comes down to waiting. Presuming Carnahan’s script is delivered in “the next few weeks,” it will go out to Paramount following a round of edits. That script delivery should actually be soon this time too. Brooks said in a recent interview with Fear Net that the studio just renewed the option on the book, for “half the time and twice the money.” So pressure is likely being applied in order to get things moving.

And so, as Brooks says, it all comes back to the studio. “It’s not up to Marc Forster or Matt Carnahan or even Brad Pitt,” Brooks explained. “It’s up to the people at Paramount. They’re the ones with the purse strings.”