For others who are wondering how the final product you have seen in the cinemas are different from the original script executed in the earlier stage of production, the checklist below will help to answer your queries. It became no secret that the production of World War Z was hit by ballooning budget since they started shooting in Malta, studio's dissatisfaction with the third act and some problematic on-set events. One of the most troubling note is in fact the third act, which some believes went too dark and not practically a happy-ending. Paramount decided to hire Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof, the pair from Lost, for advice and reworking the script.
Lindelof in the earlier stage seems to be a little unfavorable with the whole lot. But he ultimately gave the studio two options - as stated in this Vanity Fair article:
Lindelof said, "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.” Pitt's production house Plan B seems to prefer the second road which will eventually becomes the critical part of the movie. With Lindelof was busy with Prometheus, he passed his work, after an extensive script surgery with Goddard to Christopher McQuarrie(Jack Reacher) for polishing.
Here are the checklist of what were added, changed and originally envisioned before the re-shoot.
WHAT WERE ADDED
- Lane and Karin being awakened by their daughters – Rachel and Constance
- Family in the kitchen having breakfast as the first report of “rabies” outbreak was mentioned
- Lane pulls over to treat Rachel’s asthmatic attack
- Lane called Karin during his trip from South Korea to Jerusalem
SO WHAT WAS CHANGED?
- The whole third act once Gerry and Segen enter the aeroplane leaving the overrun Jerusalem
ORIGINAL THIRD ACT
- Upon safely landing in Moscow, everyone on board is rounded up by military.
- Gerry and Segen are immediately drafted into armed service.
- Plot timeline jumps forward, Gerry is now part of the zombie-clearing squad in Moscow, charging through the winter under the underground tunnel
- After long battling and some introduction of Simon, Gerry’s English-speaking friend, the team emerge above ground and are right in the middle of the Battle of Red Square
- Gerry deduce that zombies are having hard time to fight in winter
- Lobos (combination of shovel and battle axe) are made the efficient weapon to kill the undead, similar to the one mentioned in the books
THE TURNING POINT
- Karin received the news that Gerry may have died. Karin and her family relocated to a refugee camp
MORE ORIGINAL THIRD ACT
- Gerry calls his wife and informs her the best way to defeat the zombies, only to reveal that Karin had to trade her body in order to survive in the refugee camp
- Parajumper soldier calls back Gerry and explains to him that he should just stay wherever he is and start a new life
- Gerry refuses to accept and determined to get back to his family, with Simon and Segen followed him to the outskirt of Oregon