Ah, Dammit. World War Z Director Thinks Zombies Are “A Great Metaphor.”

Ugh. In case you missed it, a couple weeks ago, Drew from KSK wrote a great article on the state of the ultimate press tour cliché, when directors or producers say “Even though on the surface it seems like it’s a movie about [specific premise], it’s really about [meaningless abstract concept].”

This is a disease among filmmakers and studios at this point. No wonder movies this year have sucked so badly. No movie is ever about ANYTHING. “Moneyball” can’t just be a baseball movie: God forbid it alienate people who don’t like baseball. No, no. It has to be about “a man in crisis,” or “new ways of thinking,” or some other ludicrously broad phrase that isn’t a real idea. When I go to see “Real Steel” (and I won’t), I’m going because I want to see a movie about BOXING ROBOTS. I don’t want to see a movie about fathers and sons. There are fathers and sons all over the place. If the movie is all about fathers and sons, then I’m gonna feel shortchanged out of all the robot boxing I was shown in the trailer. [Yahoo/TheProjector]

This becomes relevant to the story at hand, because once again a director is making a film about zombies (in this case Marc Forster, adapting Max Brooks’ World War Z), and once again, the zombies aren’t actually zombies at all. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that they’re actually a vague metaphor for something or other.

“Zombies are a really interesting metaphor to play with. I thought they were great in the 70s, when George Romero worked with them, it’s sort of the statement of consumerism, and so on, but also in the 70s it was a time of change, when the zombies were very popular. And I think right now we are living in a time of change, and I think that’s maybe why zombies are popular again.”

Did you get that? In the 70s, zombies were a statement on consumerism, but also an allegory for a time of change, which is why zombies were popular in the 70s and now, which are both times of change, as opposed to all the great periods of stasis throughout history, like, say, the 80s, or the 1360s. Hey, if zombies are such a great metaphor for so many different things, maybe they’re actually a pretty sh*tty metaphor, has anyone ever thought of that? I mean, shouldn’t a metaphor have some specific qualities? And not be some shapeless abstraction that can be applied to any hip buzzword, like “WAR,” “CHANGE,” “THE ECONOMY,” or “HAM SANDWICH?” Maybe zombies are really just unfeeling sacks of raw meat that are fun to watch explode, like the Kardashians.

He doesn’t say much about how the movie will differ from the book. Just:

“You want to capture the spirit of the book, but at the same time, you have to create your own narrative for the film. There are a lot of things from the book that we are trying to incorporate into the film. It’s a tricky balance.”

Whatever that means.