With Trek and World War Z Lindelof has writing credits on two big $200 million plus summer tent pole films. We all know how Lindelof landed the STID gig considering his buddy JJ Abrams is the producer/director, but what about WWZ?
As it turns out WWZ star Brad Pitt was a fan of Lindelof's script for Prometheus and decided to reach out to him on WWZ.
So what did Lindelof think when Pitt called and asked him to fix the ending of WWZ?
"I think you're supposed to act like that sort of thing just happens all the time," says Lindelof of his first, nerve-racking meeting. " 'Hey, we're all just filmmakers here, hanging out and drinking coffee and talking story.' It took about 20 minutes for my brain to stop saying, 'Be cool, be cool, be cool.'"
"The idea of a large-scale, epic, $150 million zombie movie starring Brad Pitt sounds pretty good to me," he says. "Because I haven't seen that before. I haven't seen the go-for-broke, insane zombie movie. One of the things that Brad said was, there are so many tropes we've come to expect in zombie films, and he wanted to do something different. And the only way to do it different was to do it big."
As it turns out WWZ had bigger problems script wise than just the ending. So big, in fact, that Lindelof had to bring in Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, LOST), and convince paramount to cough up another $20 mil for re-shoots.
"One of the things that I said when I first agreed to do it was, 'Guys, we have to do this completely and totally under the table,' " Lindelof says. "I just got through the Prometheus experience, and 'Lindelof comes in to fix the World War Z ending' will bring, literally -- it'll be the worst press you can ever imagine. I guarantee that I will take all the blame if the movie doesn't do well. That's what I'm here for."
Speaking of Lindelof's buddies, lets get back to JJ Abrams, who has signed on to direct Star Wars: Episode VII.
So, with his pal directing, will Lindelof take a crack at the script?
"When the news first broke that Disney was going to do it," he says, "people were already tweeting, 'Just keep Damon Lindelof away from it.' When I saw that, I started realizing that it would be a lose-lose for me in every way, shape or form."
So, sadly, he won't be involved in Episode VII, at least not overtly.
Here's Abrams on Lindelof and Star Wars:
"I consider both of us part of each other's pitching cabinet; we're both there for each other, officially or otherwise, no matter what. I know for a fact that, moving forward, I will bend his ear on this."