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Max Brooks says Brad Pitt will play the lead in World War Z

MTV landed what may be the first real scoop of Comic-Con, getting word from author Max Brooks that Brad Pitt has officially signed on to star in World War Z, the big-screen adaptation of Brooks’ oral history of the zombie apocalypse set in a totally fictionalized world undone by government ineptitude, corporate corruption, and PR spin. When we spoke to Brooks just a few short weeks ago, he still didn’t know much about the film’s status—it’s been “in development” ever since Pitt’s Plan B production company nabbed the rights in 2007—but said, “I think the problem is that if they’re going to make it, it’s going to have to be a really big movie.” Adding Pitt as the lead would certainly accomplish that.

Brooks says that he received the call confirming Pitt’s participation while signing books at Comic-Con, adding that Marc Forster is still attached to direct with an eye on release in summer of 2012. In addition, Paramount went ahead and optioned the rights to Brooks’ other books, The Zombie Survival Guide and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, for possible adaptation. Again, when we spoke to him, Brooks worried aloud about the glut of zombie-related projects in the pipeline and “the possibility of burnout.” But, uh, obviously he’s not too worried about it.

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