<i>World War Z</i> Opens Dec. 2012, But With A Different Story?

Paramount Pictures has set the release date for World War Z, the Marc Forster-directed, J. Michael Straczynski/Matthew Michael Carnahan-penned zombie apocalypse tale: Dec. 21, 2012. The film, adapted from Max Brooks' 2003 novel, stars Brad Pitt as a U.N. investigator tasked with documenting humanity's struggle to re-establish its place in the world following a zombie apocalypse.

Or at least, that's what it was about. Ain't It Cool News points out what appears to be a newly rejiggered synopsis in its press release, which reads: "The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad 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."

With the exception of the zombies bit, that actually sounds nothing like the Brooks novel. What's going on here, Paramount?

That Dec. 21 is a busy release day, with Disney's Johnny Depp-starring Lone Ranger and Ang Lee's Life of Pi also set to arrive. Both of those are adaptations as well, along with Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which opens a week earlier. As if that's not enough to keep you busy at the movies next December, also watch for Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained on Christmas Day.

Zombie hordes seem a lot less threatening when Depp, another Tolkien adaptation from Jackson and Tarantino are also in the mix. Don't be surprised if any of these dates are shuffled in the coming months.

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