“World War Z,” author Max Brooks’ best-selling novel about the aftermath of a worldwide zombie epidemic, has an almost supernatural ability to attract performers you wouldn’t normally associate with zombies. Brad Pitt is starring in the big-screen version, directed by Oscar nominee Marc Forster. And now an expanded version of the book on audio has added another high-brow performer: Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese.
Scorsese will perform the role of Breck Scott, a corrupt pharmaceutical developer who sells the American public on a placebo he claims will cure the zombie disease. It’s a slickster role the fast-talking Scorsese surely knocks out of the park.
He appears on the upcoming “World War Z: The Complete Edition” audiobook, which features five more hours of stories from the book that were previously unavailable in audiobook form. Other performers appearing in the newly recorded segments include rapper and actor Common, Alfred Molina, writer-director Frank Darabont and genre favorites Nathan Fillion and Simon Pegg.
While the new names are surely high profile, they’re keeping in line with the rest of the performers who recorded roles for the original audiobook version, including Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, Mark Hamill, John Turturro and Henry Rollins.
The author himself, son of Mel Brooks, will reprise his role of the interviewer, tasked with collecting an oral history of just what happened around the globe when the zombies took over.
The big-screen version of the film, which jettisons the oral history approach in favor of a more action-oriented tale with Pitt racing around the world to stop the zombie threat, has run into some troubles, including its cache of prop weapons being raided by anti-terrorism forces in Hungary and multiple screenwriters brought in to rewrite the ending.
The original audiobook, which featured an abridged version of the tale, has sold 115,000 copies to date and won an Audie Award for best multi-voiced performance.
— Patrick Kevin Day
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