"World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" can be seen as the defining piece of literary work that helped to give zombies a life in mainstream entertainment outside of cinema. Max Brooks' brilliant novel, which takes on the form of individual accounts of those involved, either directly or indirectly, with some aspect of the zombie apocalypse. As with most books centered around the walking dead, especially one so critically lauded, horror fans have been clamoring for a movie adaptation of Brooks' popular novel since it came out. In 2007 Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment secured the rights, with Babylon 5 scribe J. Michael Straczynski penning the script and Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster attached to direct. Since the film the has more or less been in limbo, but some light was recently shed on the project by Brooks himself in an exclusive interview with FEARnet.

According to Brooks, Paramount must still have an interest in getting the film off the ground sooner than later, as they have renewed their option for the film's right, except for twice the money and half the time. Although Brooks initially gave great praise to Straczynski's draft of the screenplay, Matt Carnahan, who also wrote Lions for Lambs and State of Play, has been tasked with composing a new draft. Marc Forster, however, is still on board.

Given the international scope of the book, the potential for a limited budget appears to be an issue for Brooks, who believes that "the thing's gotta be done right or it just can't be done...it's a world war." Having read the book, the movie deserves whatever money is thrown at it and then some to make it as accurate and representative of the drama and carnage that unfolds in its pages. I don't read much horror fiction (except Lovecraft, 'cause c'mon, it's frikkin' Lovecraft), but World War Z should be required reading for all fans of the genre. It's easy to read yet wholly engaging, offering multiple viewpoints of the zombie uprising, with social commentary permeating every page.

Max Brooks' newest foray into zombie lore is "Recorded Attacks," an illustrated book chronicling the most famous zombie attacks in recorded history. Beyond zombies, Brooks is clearly keeping himself busy, with an upcoming GI Joe comic slated for May. To read the full review with Max Brooks and to contain a bit more insight into the man that has arguably become the literary zombie expert, head on over here.