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World War Z poster

World War Z is a 2013 American action horror film directed by Marc Forster, with a screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof, from a story by Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski, based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Max Brooks. It stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, a former United Nations investigator who travels the world seeking a solution for a sudden zombie apocalypse. The ensemble supporting cast includes Mireille Enos, and James Badge Dale.

Pitt's Plan B Entertainment secured the film rights to Brooks' novel in 2007, and Straczynski was approached to write and Forster was approached to direct. In 2009, Carnahan was hired to rewrite the script. With a planned December 2012 release and a projected budget of $125 million, filming began in July 2011 in Malta, before moving to Glasgow in August and Budapest in October. The production suffered some setbacks, and, in June 2012, the release date was pushed back, and the crew returned to Budapest for seven weeks of additional shooting. Damon Lindelof was hired to rewrite the third act, but did not have time to finish the script, and Drew Goddard was hired to finish the rewrite. The reshoots took place between September and October 2012, ballooning the budget to a reported $190 million, although some publications have listed it as high as $269 million.

World War Z premiered in London on June 2, 2013, and was chosen to open the 35th Moscow International Film Festival. It premiered in New York and Los Angeles on June 14, and was theatrically released elsewhere in the United States on June 21. Reviews were mostly positive, with praise for Pitt's performance and for the film as a realistic revival of the zombie genre, but criticism of what some felt was an anti-climax and a lack of faithfulness to the source material. The film was a commercial success, grossing over $540 million against a production budget of $190 million, making it the highest-grossing zombie film of all time. A sequel was announced shortly after the film's release, but was cancelled in February 2019, reportedly due to budget issues.


Former United Nations WMD investigator Gerry Lane, his wife, Karin, and their two daughters, Rachel and Connie, are stuck in Philadelphia traffic when the city is overrun by zombies. The Lanes escape to Newark and take refuge with a couple and their young son, Tommy. They are rescued by a helicopter sent by U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Thierry Umutoni, and bring Tommy with them after his parents are infected. The group is brought to a U.S. Navy vessel in the Atlantic Ocean, where scientists and military personnel are analyzing the outbreak. Andrew Fassbach, a virologist, insists the plague is a virus and the development of a vaccine depends on finding its origin. Gerry, after his family is threatened with eviction from the safety of the vessel, agrees to help Fassbach.

Gerry, Fassbach, and a Navy SEAL escort fly to Camp Humphreys in South Korea, where the first report of zombies occurred. They are attacked by zombies upon landing, causing Fassbach to panic and accidentally kill himself with his own gun. American soldiers at the camp rescue the team, and Gerry learns the infection was introduced to the base by its doctor. An imprisoned CIA officer tells Gerry to go to Israel. Israeli Mossad learned about the virus before the outbreak and managed to build a safe zone. When the base is attacked by zombies, only Gerry and the pilot escape.

In Jerusalem, Gerry meets Jurgen Warmbrunn, a high-ranking official, who explains that they intercepted communications from Indian troops fighting against zombies. The country managed to quarantine itself by building a large wall, and allows refugees to enter the city. Loud celebratory singing from the refugees attracts zombies from outside and they breach the wall. As the city is quickly overrun, Warmbrunn orders Israeli soldiers to escort Gerry back to his plane. Gerry notices zombies bypassing an old man and an emaciated boy. When one of the escorts, "Segen", is bitten on the hand, Gerry amputates the appendage, preventing further infection, and the pair escape aboard a commercial airliner.

Gerry calls Thierry and has him divert the plane to a World Health Organization medical research facility in Cardiff. A stowaway zombie is discovered, and people aboard are quickly infected. Gerry sets off a grenade to rupture the cabin and eject the zombies, but it results in a crash landing.

Gerry and Segen survive the crash, though Gerry is impaled. They stumble to the Cardiff facility, where Gerry faints from his injuries. Three days later, he awakens to the WHO employees. He explains his theory – that the zombies bypass terminally ill or injured people, as they are unsuitable hosts for the infection. He suggests injecting themselves with a curable pathogen as "camouflage" against zombies. However, the scientists' pathogens are located in a zombie-infested portion of the facility. Gerry, Segen, and the head doctor battle their way through the lab. Before Gerry can leave, a lone zombie blocks his way, forcing him to inject himself to test his theory. When Gerry opens the door, his theory is proven correct; the zombie bypasses him, allowing him to safely walk past the rest of the zombies with pathogen samples in hand.

Gerry and Segen arrive at a safe zone in Freeport, Nova Scotia, where he is reunited with his family. A vaccine is developed that acts as a camouflage against the zombies, allowing civilians to safely escape infested areas and military forces to battle the zombies more effectively.