Warm Bodies author Isaac Marion is about to publish the long-anticipated sequel to his offbeat zombie love story, which is already prompting fans to wonder if we'll see the sequel play out on the big screen. Author Isaac Marion is making no promises about that, but it sounds like a lot of it depends on how well this new book does.
Isaac Marion did a live Skype today with the class of Innovation Tech NY. He was kind enough to broadcast the discussion live on his Facebook page at the same time. When a fan asked about any potential plans to see the upcoming book The Burning World adapted to a movie that would follow Jonathan Levine's 2013 adaptation of the first book, Marion said the following:
The Burning World might be a film, it might not. It's been in discussion for a long time. There were meetings. There were deals being talked about. But it has just been mysteriously stalled for a long time. I think they were trying to figure out how to do it, or whatever.
So I don't know if it's going to happen, there are no immediate plans in the works. But my hope is that, if the book does really well, then it might kickstart the process. If they see that people still really care about it. Because it's been a long time. The movie even came in in 2013? So, like four years, three years even since the movie. So it's cooled off a bit, and I think there's probably an assumption that it's not a guaranteed thing now that it's been so long.
Well, it's not the most positive answer, but it makes sense.
Of course, if there's a hugely positive response to his book in sales, reviews and fan reactions, a studio might be compelled to follow through with another movie. That said, Summit was still cashing major Twilight Saga checks back when Warm Bodies was acquired for an adaptation. The years since have not been quite as prosperous for young adult adaptations, as evidenced by the returns on Ender's Game and the Divergent series at the box office. Summit's parent company Lionsgate saw massive success with the Hunger Games adaptations, but even those movies saw declining box office numbers with the last two films. If the studio is even considering taking Warm Bodies further, it seems probable that they'd take the struggles of the more recent book adaptations into account when crunching the numbers.
Warm Bodies reviews were generally favorable, and the film did decently at the box office in 2013, if we put aside the massively high bar set by the Twilight movies around that time. On a budget of about $35 million, the movie grossed $66 million domestically, with a worldwide gross of almost $117 million. It wasn't a box office bomb, but I don't think it was enough of a hit that a sequel would be guaranteed, especially if the budget for the sequel needs to be higher.
That brings us to another thing Isaac Marion said during his live video. The Burning World is much more ambitious, and would need a bigger budget...
I have no idea how they would do a movie of this one, because it's much more ambitious. And it would require a lot more money to do what's actually in the book. They'd have to simplify it quite a bit. But I would love to see what they came up with. It's always fascinating to see kind of someone's cover version of something you create.
The Burning World is much longer than Warm Bodies, and (without going into any details on the plot) delves deeper and further than the love story we saw play out in the first book. Given what I've read so far, I'm inclined to think this story might be better off fully adapted for a TV series, beginning with R and Julie's budding romance, and then following through to the events of the ebook The New Hunger, as well as The Burning World and the eventual novel The Living, which is set to follow The Burning World.
If the sequel ever does find its way to the big screen, Isaac Marion says he'd be very excited if they got Jonathan Levine back to do it. I'd agree with him on that. Levine's style brought the charm and dark humor of Marion's novel together really well. As for the cast, a few months back Teresa Palmer said she'd love it if there were a sequel, so hopefully she'd be on board if it ever happens. Meanwhile, Nicholas Hoult has been keeping busy as Beast in the recent X-Men movies. Both actors have new projects on the horizen, but it would be wonderful to see them reunited as Julie and R again.