For anyone who's read Max Brooks' World War Z or his earlier The Zombie Survival Guide, a big-screen adaptation seemed, if not inevitable due to the problems inherent in adapting Brooks' episodic novel, then at least likely, especially with the continuing exploitation of the zombie sub-genre, e.g., The Walking Dead, a small-screen adaptation of Robert Kirkman's long-running comic-book series (a six-part first season will air on AMC later this year) and last fall's commercially and critically successful zombie-comedy (or "zom-com"), Zombieland. MTV's Rick Marshall has word that Brad Pitt has officially agreed to star in the World War Z adaptation, scheduled for a summer 2012 release.

If you haven't followed World War Z's progress from novel to (potentially) big screen closely, here's a brief summary:

Brad Pitt optioned World War Z from Brooks for his production company, Plan B Entertainment, three years ago. Pitt gave adaptation duties to J. Michael Straczynski, best known among science-fiction fans for creating, producing, and writing Babylon 5 and, among comic-book readers, a multi-year run writing The Amazing Spider-Man for Marvel Comics (Straczynski's currently writing Superman and WonderWoman for DC Comics). Straczynski became a hot property after Clint Eastwood selected Straczynski's Changeling script to direct with Angelina Jolie in the lead role three years ago.