When moviegoers flock to next year's "World War Z" to watch Brad Pitt battle zombies in the streets of Philadelphia, they'll actually be viewing the city's stunt double in Glasgow, Scotland.
Producers for the $130 million, long-delayed film based on the best-selling book by Max Brooks are hard at work recreating Philly storefronts, importing U.S. cars (with Pennsylvania plates), and recruiting Scots to play the living dead. Which naturally has officials from the real American city wondering how they could have possibly missed out on the latest Hollywood disaster.
"This is huge. This is a killer. I was devastated about this. We lost jobs that people were counting on," Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Philadelphia film office, told The Inquirer
. She added that prior to jumping overseas, producers were planning on dumping some $40 million into the local economy.
The main reason for Glasgow's ridiculous dress-up act boils down to money (as usual) — and poor timing. Back in February, when "World War Z" was scouting a location, the future of Pennsylvania's tax subsidy for filmmakers was in limbo. New Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was rumored to be axing them altogether from his budget, but later surprised many when he not only renewed the cuts in March, but also made them more generous.
Unfortunately for Pitt and Co., they couldn't wait — and Glasgow won the look-alike contest in what will ultimately add $2.5 million to its economy — the most lucrative film deal in that nation’s history. The 47-year-old is expected to start filming his scenes in the streets surrounding George Square in August. Production officially kicked off this week in Malta.