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.