It was looking like we'd have to wait until Breaking Dawn: Part 2 premiered to see the trailer for Warm Bodies, but it's made its way online sooner than that. The feature adaptation to Isaac Marion's zombie novel arrives in theaters in a couple of months. The trailer introduces us to R, a zombie who falls for a girl named Julie.
Directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Wackness), Warm Bodies stars Nicholas Hoult as R, the mentioned zombie who's a bit more alert than your average groaning, shuffling walking corpse. During a routine feeding, he runs into Julie (Teresa Palmer) and decides to protect her rather than eat her. Rounding out the cast is John Malkovich, who plays Julie's father, Rob Corddry, who plays R's zombie friend M, Analeigh Tipton, playing Julie's friend Nora, and Dave Franco, who's Julie's boyfriend Perry. All of these characters are featured in the trailer below, which comes courtesy of ET (via IAmRogue).
Having read the book, I was hopeful that the film would reflect some of the humor from the story, and that we'd be brought into R's mind the same way we are in the book. The tone is a bit reminiscent of Zombieland with shades of Shaun of the Dead in the way it mixes horror and humor. Except in the case of Warm Bodies, the story is approached from the zombie's perspective. R's mental "Don't be creepy" chant and the way he admires the watch as he attacks someone are examples of the humor-horror blend.
R walks and talks (in the inner monologue) a little bit faster than I expected, but I like the general tone over all. Among the stand-out moments is the zombie attack scene that leads to R meeting Julie. The music, the heartbeat and the "Shhh" moment all work well. That's followed by some humor with Julie's bad attempt at playing dead. We see the difference between the skeleton-like "boneys" (the more traditional zombies) and the still-sort-of-human zombies like R. There's also some action as we see the fight between the living and the undead. We also get a look at Dave Franco, who helps R get a grip on his humanity in his own way. And it looks like Rob Corddry and Crazy, Stupid, Love's Analeigh Tipton will be there for more comedic relief, playing the best friends to R and Julie respectively.
Zombie fanatics may not appreciate the way the story deviates from traditional zombie lore with the concept of a zombie that can "cure" itself. And some will pre-judge this story, passing it off as "Twilight for zombies," which it isn't. But if the movie sticks close to the tone of book in combining humor, horror, action and a little bit of romance - and the trailer suggests that it will - I think we're in for something fun here.
Warm Bodies arrives February 1, 2013. More information and photos can be found in our Blend Film Database.