Why World War Z author 'wanted to hate' the movie (and why he didn't)

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Jul 20, 2013, 12:11 AM EDT

Who would've thought a guy who'd kept such a distance from the movie adaptation of his book would've had so much fun watching the flick?

In the months leading up to the release of the Brad Pitt-starring World War Z, author Max Brooks -- who released the novel the film is based on back in 2006 -- didn't seem very enthusiastic about the film. He declined to read the script, didn't want to go to screenings in advance and worried that he wouldn't have answers for fans of his book who were annoyed that they paid to see a vastly different film. At the same time, he made it clear that he was very practical about the experience, telling the filmmakers to "go make the movie you want to make and I'll see it when it comes out."

Brooks is at San Diego Comic-Con this week to promote his new limited comic-book series The Extinction Parade (which features zombies and vampires) and the videogame Dead Rising 3 (which he worked on), and was asked again about the World War Z movie. Turns out he did see it, and his thoughts about the experience might surprise you.

"I was expecting to hate it, and I wanted to hate it because it was so different from my book, and yet the fact that it was so different from my book made it easier to watch because I didn't watch my characters and my story get mangled," Brooks said. "So I was just watching somebody else's zombie movie, which was fun and intense."

Brooks went on to acknowledge that many authors have "infuriating" moments watching movie adaptations of their work because they can't stand to see the characters acting in different ways. In this case, though, most of the characters weren't his, and that took some of the pressure off.

"They [authors] watch their characters do things they would never do and say things they would never say," Brooks said. "It's infuriating. I never had a 'Gerry Lane-wouldn't-say-that moment because I didn't invent Gerry Lane (the film's main character played by Brad Pitt). In fact, the only character they kept from my book, Jurgen Warmbrunn, the Israeli intelligence analyst, he was actually pretty spot on."

So, while many authors might complain about how drastically different the film based on their novel is, Brooks actually managed to enjoy the World War Z movie because it was so different. 

What do you think? Did World War Z the movie compare to the book?

(Via USA Today)