The studios behind the most expensive zombie movie ever produced in Hollywood are hoping to not only reap a massive windfall from box office receipts, but also create an entirely new action vehicle for Brad Pitt. 


"World War Z" follows United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world "in a race against time to stop the zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself."

This synopsis is a huge departure from the book of the same name by author Max Brooks — which took place in a world attempting to recover from the zombie wars.


According to the LA Times, if audiences embrace "Z" as they have other zombie-themed entertainment, the studios will keep the undead coming back again and again. From the article:


"For Pitt, the big sci-fi thriller also represents his strongest bid to have a big film franchise of his own, which might be viewed as the missing piece of his career jigsaw puzzle. Forster and Paramount Pictures each view 'World War Z' as a trilogy that would have the grounded, gun-metal realism of, say, Damon's Jason Bourne series tethered to the unsettling end-times vibe of AMC's 'The Walking Dead.'"

Mixing "Jason Bourne" with "zombies" give a good indication of the type of action we can expect to see from "Z"; which to this author is an encouraging sign. Initial reaction to the way Paramount was interpreting Brooks' work was disappointing to say the least - but there's hope this could yet turn out decent. 


"World War Z" is slated to hit theaters on December 21, 2012.


Also on MNN: 10 tips for surviving a zombie outbreak

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Pitt's zombie film may become trilogy
Studios says the big budget apocalyptic thriller could spawn two more films is successful in the theaters.