| ''SPOILER ALERT!!''
This page has an indepth, spoiler laden plot description. Proceed at your own risk.
Former UN employee Gerry Lane and his family sit in heavy traffic in Philadelphia while the radio reports on a rabies outbreak that has spread internationally. After hearing explosions they are attacked by masses of zombies. Those bitten are transformed into zombies after 12 seconds. As the attacks continue, the Lanes narrowly escape to an apartment complex, to wait for extraction by a helicopter sent by Gerry's former UN colleague, the Deputy Secretary-General Thierry Umutoni.
After a brief struggle in which Gerry is almost infected, the Lanes reach the helicopter and are taken to a U.S. Navy vessel off the coast of New York City, where a team of analysts and military personnel are analyzing the scope of the worldwide outbreak. A virologist, Dr. Andrew Fassbach, argues that the plague is a virus, whose origin must be found in order for a vaccine to be developed. Because of his expertise as a former UN investigator, Gerry is tasked with helping investigate the virus and help Fassbach find the outbreak's source. After the Navy threatens to kick Gerry and his family off the ship if he does not help, Gerry reluctantly agrees to fly to Camp Humphreys, a military base in South Korea where the word "zombie" was supposedly first used in reference to the outbreak. Before he leaves he tells his family goodbye giving his wife a satellite phone so they can keep contact.
Arriving at the base, they are attacked and Fassbach accidentally discharges his weapon, killing himself. At the base, Gerry learns from the survivors that the zombies are attracted to noise. The leader also informs Gerry of a local who bit the base doctor, and shows him to a room of incinerated bodies, where the soldiers first saw the outbreak. Gunter Haffner, a former CIA operative imprisoned for treason, tells Gerry to go to Jerusalem, where the Israeli Mossad had established a safe zone just before the outbreak was officially acknowledged, implying Israel might have had prior knowledge. Gerry and the soldiers return to stealthily refuel the plane but Karin calls Gerry and the noise of the phone attracts the infected. Gerry and his pilot barely escape but several soldiers are killed.
In Jerusalem, Gerry meets Mossad leader Jurgen Warmbrunn, who explains that Mossad had months earlier intercepted communications from an army general in India, who stated that Indian troops were fighting the "rakshasa". With this knowledge and using a policy implemented to prevent Israel being caught off guard, known as the "10th Man", the country quarantined itself. Though quarantined Israel allowed uninfected civilians, regardless of nationality, to enter. Due to loud noises coming from within the zone, the thousands of infected outside begin to run climbing onto and over each other, eventually breaching the wall. During the chaos, Gerry notices several civilians who are completely ignored by the zombies, including an old man and an emaciated boy. While they are escaping, one of Gerry's escort soldiers, Segen, is bitten. Gerry immediately amputates her hand in time to prevent her from being infected. Gerry's pilot flies away during the chaos, so Gerry and Segen are forced to escape from Jerusalem on an airliner.
Contacting Thierry, they are diverted to a WHO research facility in Cardiff, Wales. While still in the air, a stowaway zombie emerges from the galley elevator and begins attacking passengers. Just as the plane is about to be overrun with zombies, Gerry detonates a hand grenade. The explosion blasts a hole into the side of the plane, which sucks out many of the zombies and causes the plane to crash. An injured Segen and Gerry emerge as the only apparent survivors of the crash.
After arriving at the facility, Gerry reveals his theory: that the infected do not bite people who are seriously injured or already terminally ill, since they would be unsuitable as hosts for viral reproduction. He volunteers to inject himself with a terminal but curable pathogen on himself to see if his idea works. However, the wing in which the pathogens are stored was overrun with infected, after a doctor accidentally infected himself and then his colleagues. Gerry fights his way through the zombies into the pathogen storage vault, injects himself with a sample, and successfully returns to the main lab without being attacked. Seeing that his "camouflage" theory works, the doctors rejoice and immediately treat him.
Gerry returns to his family, now relocated to a safe zone at Freeport, Nova Scotia. A "vaccine" derived from deadly pathogens is developed that can act as camouflage for the troops battling the infected, and for fleeing civilians. As human offensives begin against the zombies, humanity now has hope, but Gerry notes that, "This isn't the end, not even close."
- June 14, 2006: A bidding war between Leonardo DiCaprio's production company "Appian Way" and Brad Pitt's "Plan B Entertainment" ends with Variety.com announcing that Paramount Pictures has acquired the screen rights to World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, and that Plan B will produce.
- October 20, 2006: Author Max Brooks says he has "zero control" where the film is concerned, and that he wishes to see it as a fan instead. Brooks jokingly mentions Brad Pitt as a preferred actor to playing him...
- March 27, 2008: Ain't It Cool News reviews an early script that had been leaked to the internet declaring "This isn’t just a good adaptation of a difficult book... it’s a genre-defining piece of work that could well see us all arguing about whether or not a zombie movie qualifies as “Best Picture” material." - also noting that the film seems similar in style to the film Children of Men."
- May 31, 2008: At Philadelphia WizardWorld Brooks speaks of how pleased he is that sci-fi series Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski was writing the screenplay: “I am a HUGE B5 fan,” Brooks gushed. “I'm thrilled that they hired a writer who not only understands science fiction, but who also understands history and politics and emotions. The fact that they hired JMS is really cool.”
- November 19th, 2008: Variety.com reports that Marc Forster has signed on to direct. In an interview with Daily Variety, Forster explains: "The genre always fascinated me, and when they pitched it to me, it reminded me of the paranoid conspiracy films of the '70s like All the President's Men."
- December 3, 2008: MTV Movies Blog quotes writer J. Michael Straczynski as drawing a comparison between W.W.Z. and The Bourne Identity.
- March 6, 2009: Despite J. Michael Straczynski previous hopes that production would begin in early 2009, director Marc Forster tells IGN that the project is still in development.
- June 15, 2009: In an interview with Migros Magazin, Forster mentions that the script is far from finished, and he might be moving forward on another project that is "ready to go."
- July, 2009: Max Brooks reveals to Fangoria that the script is currently being re-written by Matthew Michael Carnahan.
- July 21, 2010: At Comic-Con 2010, Author Max Brooks announces that Brad Pitt will now be starring in the film adaptation, and that two more of his works - "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks" graphic novel - have also been optioned by Paramount Pictures.
- March 21, 2011: Sources at Vulture.com claim that Paramount is seeking a co-financier to help foot the $125 million price tag, and will likely halt production if one cannot be found. 
- March 29, 2011: Deadline.com reports hearing that serious talks are underway between Paramount and potential co-financiers in order to move forward with production.
- April 12, 2011: Bleeding Cool.com reports the project is moving forward, and that cinematographer Robert Richardson is making preparations to begin filming.
- June 10, 2011: James Badge Dale enters negotiations to join the film as an American soldier who tries to alert authorities that the zombie threat is real.
- June 12 2011: Daily Record.com runs an article stating that some filming will occur in Glasgow, Scotland, but will portray the streets of Philidelphia.
- June 14, 2011: Matthew Fox and Ed Harris enter talks while Forster announces Julia Levy-Boeken is set to join the film. Lucy Aharish also joins the cast as a young Palestinian woman.
- June 17, 2011: BBC News reports that Glasgow, Scotland will be a filming location, and that it will be the largest the city has seen to date.
- June 30 2011: Vulture.com reports that both Matthew Fox and Ed Harris have left the project due to scheduling conflicts.
- Early July 2011: Principal photography begins in Malta
- July 12, 2011: Gigwise.com reports that naval aircraft-carrier scenes are scheduled to be shot in Falmouth, Cornwall, UK.
- July 22, 2011: Game of Thrones actor Elyes Gabel is announced as joining the cast.
- August 5, 2011: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) enters negotiations to join the cast in a "small but notable role" role.
- August 4, 2011: The Falkirk Herald reports that filming is set to take place along a road on the outskirts of Grangemouth Refinery land in Grangemouth, Scotland.
- August 9, 2011: A release date of December 21, 2012 is announced, the day of the so-called Mayan apocalypse.
- August 14, 2011: Filming begins in Glasgow, Scotland.
- October 6, 2011: Deadline.com announces that actor David Morse has joined the cast as a "prisoner living in an abandoned jail."
- October 10, 2011: Filming begins in Budapest even after a Hungarian Police raid on the World War Z arsenal found functional weapons intended to be used as props.
- December 27, 2011: Film Music Reporter.com breaks the news that Marco Beltrami has signed on to produce the film score.
- January 3, 2012: Forster and Paramount Pictures tell the Los Angeles Times that they "each view World War Z as a trilogy that would have the grounded, gun-metal realism of, say, Matt Damon's Jason Bourne series tethered to the unsettling end-times vibe of AMC's The Walking Dead".
- February 10, 2012: All weapons charges were dropped after investigators failed to identify exactly which "organization or person" had "ownership rights", and therefore couldn't "establish which party was criminally liable."
- March 13, 2012: Paramount announces that One Shot (later retitled Jack Reacher) starring Tom Cruise will take the December 21, 2012 release date, and that World War Z's release had been moved to June 21, 2013.
- May 31, 2012: Dailymail.co.uk reports that production would return to Budapest for seven weeks of additional shooting.
- June 8, 2012: Hollywood Reporter.com announces that Damon Lindelof (Lost, Prometheus) has been tapped to rewrite the last third of the screenplay.
- Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, a U.N. employee who scours the world, interviewing survivors of the Zombie apocalypse, referred to as World War Z.
- Mireille Enos as Karin, Lane's wife and mother of their two children.
- Fana Mokoena as Thierry Umutoni, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General.
- Daniella Kertesz as an Isreali soldier known as "Segen", who accompanies Gerry when he leaves Israel.
- James Badge Dale as Captain Speke, an American soldier who "tries to warn the government that the threat of zombies is real."
- Lucy Aharish as a young Palestinian woman.
- Julia Levy-Boeken as an Isreali refugee.
- Matthew Fox as a U.S. special forces soldier sent by Thierry Umutoni to rescue the Lane family in Newark.
- Elyes Gabel as Dr. Andrew Fassbach, a virologist
- David Morse as a prisoner living in an abandoned jail
- Abigail Hargrove as Rachel Lane, who is Gerry and Karin's elder daughter.
- Sterling Jerins as as Constance Lane, who is Gerry and Karin's younger daughter.
- Fabrizio Zacharee Guido as Tommy, a young boy who is rescued and taken in by the Lane family.
- Ernesto Cantu as Tommy's father.
- Vicky Araico as Tommy's mother.
At Comic-Con 2010, Author Max Brooks announced that two more of his works - "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks" graphic novel - have also been optioned by Paramount Pictures.
Marc Forster and Paramount Pictures told the Los Angeles Times in January 2012, that they "view World War Z as a trilogy that would have the grounded, gun-metal realism of, say, Matt Damon's Jason Bourne series tethered to the unsettling end-times vibe of AMC's The Walking Dead".
- ↑ Par, Plan B raise 'Zombie'
- ↑ Exclusive Interview: Max Brooks on World War Z
- ↑ JMS’s WORLD WAR Z Script!
- ↑ Max Brooks Talks WORLD WAR Z Flick
- ↑ Forster to direct Par's 'World War Z'
- ↑ J. Michael Straczynski On 'World War Z': 'The Scale Of What We're Doing Here Is Phenomenal'
- ↑ World War Z Update
- ↑ "World War Z" Feature Hits A Delay?
- ↑ EXCLUSIVE: Brad Pitt To Star In 'World War Z,' Paramount Options 'Zombie Survival Guide' And 'Recorded Attacks'
- ↑ Brad Pitt’s World War Z Could Be (Un)Dead If Paramount Can’t Find a Partner
- ↑ ‘World War Z’ With Brad Pitt And Marc Forster Regroups; Can It Beat Imminent Zombie Pic Infestation?
- ↑ SCOOP: World War Z Going Ahead, Cinematographer Prepping At Studio Right Now
- ↑ James Badge Dale Goes to 'World War Z'
- ↑ Big screen heart-throb Brad Pitt will jet into Scotland to film zombie epic
- ↑ Matthew Fox, Ed Harris In ‘World War Z’ Talks
- ↑ Brad Pitt to film horror movie in Glasgow city centre
- ↑ Matthew Fox and Ed Harris Are Out of World War Z
- ↑ Brad Pitt's Zombie Film Heading For Cornwall
- ↑ 'Game of Thrones' Actor Cast in Brad Pitt's 'World War Z' (Exclusive)
- ↑ Bryan Cranston in Talks to Join 'World War Z' (Exclusive)
- ↑ Film star ready to roll into town
- ↑ The zombie war film will be released on Dec. 21, 2012, one of four wide releases to open on that date.
- ↑ Filming starts in Glasgow for Brad Pitt zombie movie
- ↑ David Morse To Zombie Pic ‘World War Z’
- ↑ Counter-terrorism police seize World War Z machine guns
- ↑ Marco Beltrami to Score ‘World War Z’
- ↑ Brad Pitt's double play
- ↑ Brad Pitt's Illegal Gun Cache: Is He Really in Serious Trouble?
- ↑ Paramount Release Shakeup: Tom Cruise's 'One Shot' to Christmas; Brad Pitt's 'World War Z' to Summer
- ↑ Brad's zombie shoot comes back to life
- ↑ Damon Lindelof to Rewrite 'World War Z' (Exclusive)
- ↑ Cast and Crew on Internet Movie Database
- ↑ EXCLUSIVE: Brad Pitt To Star In 'World War Z,' Paramount Options 'Zombie Survival Guide' And 'Recorded Attacks'
- ↑ Brad Pitt's double play