Isaac Marion’s zombie romance novel Warm Bodies has been gobbled up by Jonathan Levine, the man who brought us Sundance darling The Wackness and the horror-thriller All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. The plot of the novel/movie seems to hold some promise, the tale follows a young zombie known as “R” as he manages to stay alive through a post-apocalypse America. While only able to communicate through grunts and simple syllables, he finds himself craving human brains in order to get high off of the memories they contain. An interesting reason behind the brain craving, but I’ll go with it. It is only after R consumes the brain of a suicidal boy that R finds himself consumed by the love he’s discovered in the blonde girlfriend of the man he’s just eaten, Julie. R’s love is so strong that he begins to save her from zombie attacks and he makes it his goal to protect her. Zombie romance is a bit of a strange bird to try and tackle, but more power to Marion for trying to figure out a way to make it work. The novel itself seems be highly regarded and Shaun of the Dead himself has stated on record that the novel is “a mesmerizing evolution of a classic contemporary myth”.
Now, a love story between two teenagers with one of them being a supernatural and horrific creature…what else does that remind you of? Oh yeah, that whole sparkling vampire craze that’s been a constant annoyance to anyone outside the fandom since 2005. It came as no surprise when it was announced that Summit Entertainment, the people behind The Twilight Saga would also be backing this production. Let’s be frank here, the only thing keeping Summit Entertainment in business is that damn franchise, so it only makes sense that they’re going to try to milk every last drop they can out of the sparkly cash cow. In that respect, I can completely understand why they’d try to have lightning strike twice with a carbon copy of their money maker. The creative team has managed to scoop up Nicholas Hoult of X-Men: First Class fame to play R as well as up-and-coming actress, Teresa Palmer to play opposite as Julie. There’s some other recognizable figures like Lizzy Caplan, Dave (not to be confused with my superior brother James) Franco, oh yeah, and John Freaking Malkovich.
Relatively impressive cast aside, the question is how they’re going to interpret this beast. Now, I could very well assume that this is going to be nothing more than a Twi-Clone, but after All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, I think Jonathan Levine may have something else up his sleeve. My prediction? This is a brilliant marketing scam trying to reel in the broken hearted Twi-hards that will be mourning over their Edward Cullen trapper keepers once the final film installment in the franchise is released. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for. I don’t think I could handle a zombie style Twilight. It’s bad enough that they’re going to be screwing with zombie mythology by giving R a sense of self control; then again, we made zombies run and that seemed to work rather well, didn’t it?