When one envisions a release date for a huge Hollywood film starring Brad Pitt, zombies, and the destruction of society, the month of December isn't generally the first that comes to mind.

Paramount, however, is betting that the undead featured in the apocalyptic film "World War Z" will attract the holiday masses. Whether intentional or not, the studio has also scheduled the release date for Dec. 21, 2012 — notoriously known as the last day in the Mayan calendar. Many apocalypse aficionados believe this day signals the end of the world.

With this in mind, it's easy to see why a zombie flick would bow so close to Christmas. The amount of media covering the "prophesied apocalypse" (remember the disaster flick "2012"?) is sure to be staggering; something that likely has not escaped Paramount's marketing team.

For those not familiar with the film, "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. Naturally, fans of the novel have been less than pleased with Hollywood's interpretation.

The site Screen Rant summed up the disappointment well saying, "Brooks' book explored — among other things — how the world would or wouldn't be able to cope with a massive disaster like a zombie apocalypse. The sci-fi/horror premise was a great allegorical frame for a lot of relevant political, social and moral questions. This movie is basically your tried-and-true (and often failed) race-against-time action/thriller."

Pitt, 47, travels to Glasgow, Scotland, this week to begin filming scenes for the flick. As I reported earlier this summer, producers are transforming the city center into a lookalike of the U.S. city of Philadelphia, which embarrassingly lost out on the chance to host the movie because of issues over tax subsidies. According to The Hollywood Reporter, American cars, street signs and shop fronts are all being transplanted.

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.

'World War Z' to hit December 2012
Brad Pitt's zombie film to debut on the very same day that some believe the world will come to an end.