Before the snark hits in reaction to the question in the headline, let me make it clear that I obviously know why Paramount is calling their global zombie epidemic movie World War Z. It's a great title that many people will instantly recognize-- even if you haven't read Max Brooks' book, you've probably at least heard of it. But just because I understand the rationale doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.
Why? Because World War Z has already been ruined and it hasn't even finished filming yet.
Paramount sent out a press release this morning announcing the new December 21, 2012 release date for the Marc Forster-directed film and what little interest I still had in the project died off completely (most of it took a bullet to the head when Forster, the bumbling action director who ruined Quantum of Solace, was signed to direct). Now, my interest didn't die because I'm a busy guy who already has plans for December 21st, 2012, it died because I read the studio's official synopsis for the film:
"The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself. Enos plays Gerry’s wife Karen Lane; Kertesz is his comrade in arms, Segen."
That's right, fans of the book. Take that in and spit it right back out.
Paramount's World War Z is not Max Brooks' World War Z. As anyone who has read (and no doubt subsequently fallen in love with) the latter, it's about an agent of the UN's Postwar Commission who goes around the world to interview survivors of the zombie apocalypse in order to understand exactly how it happened. He's just a researcher trying to unearth facts that the UN might not want to get out whilst making sense of this big, bloody, global brain-eating mess. He is NOT an employee "in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic." He's not even a little bit of that. Not even a fraction.
So, to get back to the rhetorical question at hand, if you're just going to completely throw out the retrospective narrative of the book, why even bother calling it World War Z? That's just paying a hefty licensing fee to use a title and not a plot. Hell, they're paying full price and not even using the full title, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. It's right there in the title, Paramount. History. WWZ isn't about preventing a pandemic. It's about understanding it.
I hate you, Marc Forster.