Vanity Fair/FRED R. CONRAD/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX PICTURES
No surprise, Brad Pitt looks gorgeous on the cover of Vanity Fair.
But inside the mag, the story behind the making of his World War Z zombie flick isn't so pretty.
Director Mark Foster, screenwriter Damon Lindelof and Paramount Pictures executives talk about the troubled production, spilling secrets of budget overages, incomplete endings and endless reshoots in Vanity Fair's June cover story.
According to the article, production blew through the flick's early budget, amounting an overage of millions of dollars while filming in Malta.
"It was literally insane. Adam [Goodman, president of the Paramount Film Group] and I believed we'd gotten out of Malta good, and I found out we weren't. That is a nightmare," Marc Evans, president of production at Paramount told Vanity Fair.
The financial oversight coupled with countless reshoots eventually ballooned the film's budget to over $200 million, and experienced blockbuster producer Ian Bryce was brought on to take control of production in Glasgow.
But Bryce couldn't solve all the problem's that plagued the film, and according to Evans, the money issues were just the beginning. He recalls the first screening which left the audience silent, due to an abrupt and incoherant ending.
"It was, like, Wow. The ending of our movie doesn't work," Evans said. "I believed in that moment we needed to reshoot the movie."
After the screening, Lindelof was also on board with an alternate ending, "I said to them, There are two roads to go down here. 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."
Road Two required shooting an additional 30 to 40 minutes of the movie, a decision which Paramount ultimately decided to back, but director Foster says it was not a "big drama" despite all the production problems.
"I feel like, yes, the ending didn't work," he told the mag. "Yes, we all thought it was going to work. Yes, we decided it's not the right ending. Yes, we decided to change it and spend more money. Yes, it never happened to me before on any of my other movies. But I think this movie is more original and bigger and more special than I have ever done before."
The June issue of Vanity Fair will be available on newsstands in New York and L.A. on May 2 and nationally on the iPad, Nook, and Kindle on May 7.