Brad Pitt’s New Film is a Nightmare for Viacom (VIAB)

June 14, 2012 4:20 PM EDT
One year and $170 million later, executives at Viacom’s (Nasdaq: VIAB) Paramount Pictures are learning that 2012’s Christmas week blockbuster "World War Z," starring Brad Pitt, is turning into a “total nightmare.”

Pitt, who is both the star and the producer of the film, has ordered several reshoots and scraped the ending of the film. Originally scheduled for December, the release has been pushed back to next summer. As a result, the films budget has swelled $50 million and is now estimated to be $170 million, according to insiders.

"World War Z" is a post apocalyptic horror film based on a novel by Max Brooks. Early indication pegged the film as genre-defining, and it may well be. But Hollywood is a business and executives are rumored to be less than pleased with the news.

One source close to the production called "World War Z" a nightmare from top to bottom.

Recent customers' responses to new box-office releases from Paramount Pictures have been lukewarm, according to analysts. But Paramount revenue is solid and its film business is said to be on the comeback.

Regarding the film, Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman said “The footage from this film looks fantastic, but we all agreed it can have a better ending. Getting the ending correct is essential, and we are in that creative process. World War Z is a giant summer movie and we are confident it will be a global hit when it’s released June 2013.”

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