Monday, June 24, 2013

Tractor Tire Award of The Week - World War Z

Have you ever watched a trailer and had that one scene, that one shot that made you go "Wow, that was cool!"? Or maybe there was something you saw that stuck with you, something that for some reason was in the back of your head and despite how insignificant it was you were waiting for it to show up in the final cut of the film. But when you watched the movie that scene was nowhere to be found or has been altered in a significant way. Well, that is what the Tractor Tire Award of the Week is all about. We try to track down those scenes that didn't make it into the final version of the film and make sense of them. Where in the film was it supposed to be? Why might it have been cut? Why has it been changed? We may not always have the answers for you but at least you will have your piece of mind and know that you aren't crazy. So, this weeks award goes to World War Z!
Cut Scene #1

What about the rest of the world?

It's not secret that "World War Z" had gone through production hell (it's entire third act had to be scrapped, re-written and re-shot), so it was inevitable that we would get a trailer that perhaps would have fragments or leftover bits from what that earlier version was like. In our first scene we have a debriefing from a military official who is going over the current state of the war. "We lost the East coast, Moscow's gone dark".  Then he continues with, "Life as we know it will come to an end in 90 days. It's on us to change that". It was peculiar that there was never any mention of any other country the entire time, especially since this was a world war. It's even more peculiar since there is never really any sense of time progression in the final film, yet there was a time when a character mentions they only have 90 days...weird.

Why was it cut? Who knows, perhaps by focusing on Brad Pitt's character and his journey it left very little room to cover what was happening all over the globe. As for where this scene was to occur in the film, this was likely the same moment where Pitt's character met the man giving the speech, it only seems fitting. There is one line of dialog that does bear special notice however, and that is the mention of Moscow. That becomes relevant only in conjunction with the next missing scene.

Alternate Scene #1
Isn't India the black hole?

During Pitt's visit to the impossibly safe Israel he meets with a high official whom he asks, "If I could get into Russia, where would I start?". Which the man replies with, "Russia is a black hole". First of all, this now marks two times Russia was brought up in the trailer which would make one believe that would be of significant importance in the actual film. But the surprise is on us, because Russia is never mentioned once in the finished film. Instead the conversation Pitt's character has is about India which is the actual black hole.

Why do this? Why have your trailer clearly make not one, but two significant scenes in the trailer about a country that plays no part in the film and either cut the scene where it is brought up or just alter the dialog? Perhaps Russia was featured more prominently in the original version of the film, but here it is used as more of a clever misdirection than anything else. It would have been nice had we found anything out about Russia, but oh well.

Alternate Scene #1
"Is there anything left out there?"

This is probably the least important altered scene in the film, but it still needs to be brought up. During their conversation, Pitt and his character's wife played by Mireille Enos talk about a number of things, their children, if he is safe...but not once in the finished film does she ask about the world in general like she does here. In a strange way, all of these scenes make the film feel like it has a grander scope than it actually does. Perhaps that was the purpose behind all of this, to lure us into thinking this was going to be some sort of epic war film, where in fact it is more of a simple action flick in the end. Either way, while it would have been nice if the film had a much broader scope that felt more like a world war than just a number of skirmishes, these deleted/altered scenes serve more as a curiosity than anything else.

World War Z trailer:
Deleted scene #1 at 00:53
Alternate dialog scene #1 at 1:28
Alternate dialog scene #2 at 1:45


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