Stunt Double: World War Z

Glasgow on Film  is very excited about the release of World War Z in 2013. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the book by Max Brooks (son of Hollywood legends Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft) on which it is based, the news that scenes from it were to be shot in Glasgow last summer was warmly welcomed.

World War Z was perhaps the biggest film production in terms of scale to come to Glasgow to date. As mentioned previously in the Doomsday post, Glasgow has had a good track record of standing in for other cities and in this case it was Philadelphia. With the full support of the Glasgow Film Office and other local authorities and emergency services, certain city centre streets were closed off for some weeks as action-packed scenes depicting the panic surrounding a zombie outbreak in the Pennsylvania city were shot. American street signs went up, stars and stripes replaced saltires, scores of American vehicles lined the streets and hundreds of local people became extras, portraying police officers, office workers, soldiers… and of course the undead.

Most of the city loved the spectacle, with large crowds gathering at all hours of day to watch scenes being filmed or simply just wandering around a George Square that had come to resemble a studio backlot. Much of the excitement of course surrounded the presence of the film’s lead actor – Brad Pitt – who was accompanied on the trip by his equally famous wife, Angelina Jolie and their family. In town to play Pitt’s on screen wife was Mireille Enos, whose credits include the lead role in the American version of television series The Killing and the forthcoming feature film Gangster Squad. Enos’ actor husband Alan Ruck, best known for his role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off also visited Glasgow during the shoot, while the aforementioned Max Brooks came to cast his eye on the production and signed copies of his book in comic shop Forbidden Planet on Buchanan Street.

After some reported artistic differences the film’s release – originally scheduled for December 2012 – was delayed, however American television network ET has just released a very brief teaser clip ahead of reportedly showing the full trailer this Thursday (8th November 2012). The clip includes a glimpse (at 0.03) of a bin lorry hurtling down Glasgow’s Cochrane Street and smashing through traffic. There are two things to note about this: 1. CGI has been used to alter the appearance, particularly the height, of some of the buildings in order to make them appear more “Philadelphian” – you will see in the trailer screenshot that the building behind the bin lorry is the same as the one on the Google Streetview image (the pub Committee Room No.9); 2. Glasgow on Film was on (distant) hand to capture photographs of this scene being filmed.

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