MTV has learned that actor Brad Pitt has signed on for a leading role in World War Z, the oral history of the zombie war which chronicles a worldwide zombie outbreak through the first-hand accounts of survivors. In addition, Paramount has optioned the movie rights to two more of his projects: "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks" graphic novel.
While chatting up "World War Z" author Max Brooks at the booth for comic publisher Avatar Press, the writer confirmed to MTV News that the adaption of his novel about the zombie apocalypse is not only moving forward, but Brad Pitt is now officially attached to star in the film. Additionally, Brooks revealed that Paramount has optioned the movie rights to two more of his projects: "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks" graphic novel.
Pitt's production company Plan B Entertainment first secured the rights to World War Z back in 2007 after a bidding war with Leonardo DiCaprio's company, Appian Way. The actor has long been rumored as a potential lead for the film, but Brooks received the call confirming Pitt's attachment (and the other "Survival Guide" deals) while signing copies of the books at the Avatar booth tonight (Wednesday, July 21) during Preview Night at Comic-Con.
"I can't believe how cool Paramount has been to me and these projects, and how cool Plan B has been," said Brooks when asked for his reaction to the news.
"I'm glad they took their time, and are trying to make the best zombie movie they can," said Brooks. "I'm so glad they stayed with the project and so glad they found the right team."
Of the two new books optioned by Paramount, "The Zombie Survival Guide" offers instructions for surviving an attack by the living dead, while "Recorded Attacks" chronicles some of the major battles that occurred in the war against zombies. The "Recorded Attacks" graphic novel was published through a partnership with Random House and Avatar Press.
"I'm thrilled for all of Max's success," said Avatar editor-in-chief William Christensen, who also served as the "Recorded Attacks" editor. "I'm looking forward to all of the other projects we're working on with him in the coming years, too."
Paramount Pictures is eyeing a 2012 start date.