Paramount says World War Z‘s film adaptation will follow Brad Pitt’s quest to stop the zombie outbreak. While that departs radically what the book depicted — humanity learning from its failure to prevent and contain a zombie outbreak and its eventual triumph over the zombie menace — I get why a literal adaptation would have been pretty hard to pull off.
A literal adaptation would have involved dozens of directors from around the world each filming a chapter using local actors and locations. It would be 30 hours long and while I would watch every minute of it, I understand that the studio has to market the movie to people who didn’t read the book. That said, the book itself is pretty dark and the idea of depicting a post-apocalyptic environment where humanity is trying to rebuild is appealing, but probably not mass-appealing.
Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, for instance, was a great book. But the film version, which was a fairly literal adaptation, made for a soul-sucking, relatively boring cinematic experience.