The other day I got on the phone with director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) to talk about his great new film, 50/50. Since our conversation covered so many subjects, I decided to break it up into two parts and I’m starting with everything he said about his future projects like Warm Bodies, Legend, Jamaica, and Little Girl Lost. Here’s the highlights:
- Warm Bodies is up next for Levine. After that, he has three projects to choose from. The scripts for Legend and Jamaica are still being written. Michael Bacall has finished the script for Little Girl Lost.
- Teresa Palmer stars alongside Nicholas Hoult in Warm Bodies. The story “follows an existentially tormented zombie named R (Hoult) that begins an unlikely friendship with the human girlfriend (Palmer) of one of his victims. The blossoming relationship starts a chain reaction that will transform him, his fellow zombies and maybe the whole lifeless world.”
- Levine says his script for Warm Bodies is “probably 75% faithful to the book,” but he enjoyed the freedom of creative license. No “big changes.”
- The Warm Bodies zombies are somewhere between fast and slow. They can run fast when they are really hungry, but otherwise don’t.
- Levine will begin a 9-week shoot in Montreal in about five weeks. Montreal was chosen in part has an abandoned airport that will serve as a major setting, in part because Levine likes the architecture of the city.
- The biggest challenge will be satisfying zombie purists: “It is very different, and while it’s trying to work within the framework of the genre, it’s also trying to kind of do something unique with the genre too, and I’m sure we’re violating a lot of zombie rules and I’m going to have to beg for forgiveness and hope that everyone likes it.”
- It will be PG-13 because there is a romantic, magical tone to the story. Levine says “we don’t need heads exploding to tell our story.”
- There will be a lot of voiceover by Hoult’s character, but it will be nontraditional, since Hoult plays a zombie. Levine compares it to the locked-in syndrome perspective of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
- Warm Zombies will be a “music-heavy movie.” Levine wrote several songs into the script, pending rights clearance.
Hit the jump for the part of the interview on his future projects. Warm Bodies sounds like it could be very cool.
Writer/director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) will helm CBS Films’ adaptation of the forthcoming Marie Lu book trilogy, Legend. The press release confirms that Twilight producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey have selected Levine to adapt Lu’s novels and included this synopsis:
LEGEND takes place in a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations. It tells the story of a 15-year-old boy criminal and the 15 year-old girl prodigy hired to hunt him down. When their paths cross, the truth they uncover together will become legend.
Although the first book in the trilogy doesn’t arrive in bookstores until this November, Bowen and Godfrey acquired preemptive rights to the series all the way back in February of this year. Chalk one up for thinking ahead. In addition to Legend, Levine is currently in prep for his zombie film Warm Bodies starring Nicholas Hoult. His comedy/drama 50/50, of which I hear positive things, is set to hit theaters later this year on September 30th. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anna Kendrick.
CBS Films is hopping on the teen fantasy/adventure series adaptation bandwagon by preemptively snatching up the rights to Marie Lu’s upcoming thriller Legend. The book, to be published in November, is the first in a planned trilogy. The story is as follows:
“Taking place in a North America split into two warring nations, [the story] follows a young Robin Hood and a teen prodigy hired to hunt him down who uncover an impossible truth about their totalitarian leaders.”
Variety reports that Twilight producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey will produce through their Temple Hill production banner, and Lu would write the screenplay for the film. While the rights have been acquired, a film version is not a guarantee. The book could easily be a flop once it hits shelves later this year, therefore most likely negating the desire for a film adaptation. CBS Films is simply hedging their bets by grabbing the rights early and avoiding a bidding war should the book become wildly popular.
Legendary director Ridley Scott helped close the first Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival in style Sunday. He screened two of his most accomplished films, Alien and Blade Runner, and in between simultaneously inspired and gave the world some awesome news on his two upcoming Alien prequels.
In the original Alien, right before Kane (John Hurt) gets planted with a Face Hugger, he sees the skeleton of a giant being sitting in a chair. This being is regularly referred to as “The Space Jockey” and Scott said he always wondered who being was and what was its story. He said that being now has a story. The script has been written and he is currently in preproduction on a set of films that will begin to tell how “The Space Jockey” fits into the world of Alien.
Hit the jump to read more details about these upcoming Alien movies as well as the entire run down of Scott’s Q&A. Plus, don’t forget to read about Leonard Nimoy from Friday and Christopher Nolan from Saturday.