We've already seen two trailers for Jonathan Levine's upcoming feature adaptation of Isaac Marion's zombie novel Warm Bodies. Today, the first four minutes of the film have arrived online and they take us through the mindset of lead character R, played by Nicholas Hoult, a zombie struggling with an existential crisis.
Warm Bodies is set in a future where mankind has been overrun by zombies. Hoult plays R, a zombie who encounters Julie (Teresa Palmer), a living human to whom he takes a liking and forms a relationship with. But a big part of the focus of the story is really in R's growing awareness of what he is and his place in a world that's falling apart. Fandango posted the first four minutes of the film, which introduce us to R as he wanders through the airport, feeling lost (both figuratively and sometimes literally) as he ponders the meaning of his existence. We also get a brief introduction to R's friend M, played by Rob Corddry.
I really like the way the film cuts to home-video-like flashbacks of who the other zombies might have been in their life as R imagines them. And it's worth noting that the movie addresses the cause of the apocalypse and its irrelevance to the story at this point. We also get some indication of the varying states of zombie-ism in the story, as R looks upon the boneys, which are (as he puts it) what happens to zombies when they give up, and observes a zombie picking at his face.
The change in R's attire from the book to the movie is also acknowledged, as he speculates that he might have been unemployed in his living life, based on the hoodie he's wearing. In the book, R's dressed in a suit, which implies that he had a job of some sort. I'm not sure why they decided to change that, but between the photos and trailers for the film (and use of the color red, in particular), the red hoodie's really growing on me.
There are a few great bits of humor worked into these first few minutes. One example is R imagining how great things were before the zombies, which leads to a look at the airport full of living people who aren't so much enjoying each others company, as R speculates they might have been, but busy with their cell phones and other devices, probably making even less eye contact with one another than the zombies do in the present day airport. I also liked M signaling for the check as he's about to leave the bar. It's the perfect place to cut the clip and these little bits of humor are part of what I'm really looking forward to with this film. There's also the great cast, which - in addition to Hoult, Palmer and Corddry - also includes Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton and John Malkovich.
Warm Bodies arrives in theaters February 1, 2013. More information can be found in our Blend Film Database. And you can read our conversation with director Jonathan Levine here.