We all know that ‘World War Z’ was flushed with rewrites and reshoots. For the longest time no one had a clue of how bad the ending had to have been for it to be completely scrapped for a new one. While the film itself had a mixture of bad reviews, the vast majority out there seem to have loved the movie. With the glowing reviews combined with box office ticket sales confirming this to be a true blockbuster, it’s clear that movie goers enjoyed ‘World War Z’.
But what would they have thought about the movie if the original ending had been left intact? Having read through it, I have a feeling the monumental depressing original ending would have scared away ticket sales. While true horror fans may have enjoyed it slightly more, I can clearly see why the filmmakers decided to change things to how they are now in the film.
So I bet you’re interested in how bad the original ending was. Here’s what was in that original script before it got changed!
All of the changes to the ending happen right after Pitt’s character, Gerry Lane, gets aboard the plane where he leaves Jerusalem. Right from the get go the film here would have gotten much darker as the world falls into a post apocalyptic setting where mankind truly shows it’s worst side.
WARNING: There are minor spoilers in the following though I attempt to be as vague as possible from this point out when it comes to what actually ended up on screen.
Instead of the destination that the plane heads to in the movie both Gerry and the Israel soldier Segan end up heading to Moscow. Things work a little differently here as everyone who is not sick or elderly is now forced into military service in order to attempt to put an end to the zombie threat to humanity. The sick and the elderly? Here’s where the darker side of humanity kicks in as they are summarily executed. Also while in Moscow Gerry ends up having his cell phone taken from him by a Russian soldier and with it his connection to his wife and children.
We skip here past months of fighting. Gerry has become a war hardened zombie slayer. In one of the few accurate references to the novel, he is leading a battalion whose weapon of choice is the Lobos, a shovel/axe hybrid that was one of the stand out weapons from Max Brook’s novel. In this version, the soldiers are all divided by religion and the way to successfully stop the zombies is quite different from what is portrayed in the final product. Here they are using the cold to stop the hordes of the undead.
Gerry is finally able to retrieve his phone through force and get through to Karen. We find out at this point, that Karen has been forced into a relationship, trading her body for survival. She was actually trading it to the helicopter pilot played by Matthew Fox who was on screen for a whole 2 minutes in the final version compared to how much of an impact he would have had in the original.
After this conversation, we see Gerry travelling through cut scenes crossing a variety of pieces of terrain as he attempts to get back to the United States and Karen. The movie would have closed with him landing on the Oregon coast leaving it open for a sequel.
The original ending was quite a bit more depressing and lackluster in it’s inability to give an end to the story compared to what we ended up seeing on screen. Personally I prefer the route that they went, but I’m curious as if you would have preferred to see this unfinished version of the movie or were you happy with how things ended up playing out? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Cinema Blend