World War Z to be filmed in Glasgow with locally-sourced zombies

World War Z

Brad Pitt star in Max Brooks zombie adaptation

The streets of Glasgow can get a little quieter with the onset of the Edinburgh Festival in August. 2011 looks set to be different however, with parts of the city centre undergoing a transformation into a post-apocalyptic zombie land for the filming of World War Z, directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) and starring Brad Pitt.

The film is an adaptation of American author Max Brooks' bestseller World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, a series of first hand accounts of a war that has left the human race struggling for survival. The sequel to his previous book The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead, World War Z offers a sensitive portrayal of the social and religious effects of such an event on a worldwide scale - with ample doses of blood and gore thrown in for good measure.

Several scenes from the film have already been shot in another location; Malta. Filming then moved to the less exotic climes of Falmouth in Cornwall earlier this year and will shortly be heading north to the west coast of Scotland, where Glasgow is set to represent the city of Philadelphia in the aftermath of the zombie war. While it may seem odd that Philadelphia itself wasn't practical, Scotland's largest city was chosen for its similar architecture and street plan.

Film shoots generally prove little fun for city residents - filming for similarly apocalypse-themed production Perfect Sense (released October 2011), starring Ewan McGregor, saw parts of the Merchant City closed off to the public. In the case of World War Z however, the ordinary Glaswegian has the chance to get their 15 minutes of fame by playing an extra of the zombie cast. Open auditions were held earlier this month at Glasgow Caledonian University, with casting company The Casting Collective going beyond the stereotypes of the flesh-eating and blood-stained, calling instead for adults and children of any age and background. Of course, this is in no way to suggest a resemblance between the local population of Glasgow and the walking dead, regardless of the infinite comic potential of doing so.

According to The Glasgow Film Office blog, the final extras cast is scheduled to be announced at some point in the next two weeks. The ensuing barrage of production crews, Hollywood's finest and locally-sourced zombies should help to create a bit of buzz around the city during the festival month. Until then, we'll chose to ignore the recurring choice of Scotland's 'friendly city' as the dramatic setting for end of civilization.

World War Z is scheduled for release in 2012.

World War Z

  • 3 stars
  • 2013
  • US / UK
  • 1h 56min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Marc Forster
  • Written by: Max Brooks (novel), Matthew Michael Carnahan (screenplay)
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox
  • UK release: 21 June 2013

Glasgow fills in for Philadelphia in this adaptation of Max Brooks' post-apocalyptic horror novel.

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