Who says the undead can’t fall in love? Sure, their hearts may have stopped beating and there’s nothing but dead space in their lungs (pun intended) but all those who have loved can attest that feelings such as love go beyond what is fathomable. Such is the premise of the upcoming film, Warm Bodies.
Directed by Jonathan Levine (known for 50/50), it is based on the best selling novel by Isaac Marion of the same name. It revolves around “R”, living his daily undead life with little memory of who he was or what happened to the world. R isn’t like the other zombies who walk around moaning pointlessly, he somehow thinks, wonders and wants. R feels that there could be more just the hunger for brains and flesh. Then one day, R makes a meal of a boy’s brain and experiences the boy’s memories. He then encounters his prey’s girlfriend, and R feels something awkward and different, and decides not to kill her. What happens next could turn the whole zombie-filled world upside down.
There’s a pattern forming here. Recent zombie films and stories have been slowly deviating away from the suspense-horror theme to focus on the human aspects of the apocalypse but this may not necessarily be a bad thing. Even Zombieland has tried to mix romance and friendship with the undead and it turned out pretty good. Still, an entire film dedicated to a zombie-human love FROM the zombie’s POV, well this is a first. (I’ve heard of indie films that uses a similar plot but often it’s the human’s story, the undead remain incoherent, hungry and brainless).
Of course not all zombie enthusiasts would be open to change, but Marion and Levine hope that the viewers will stay open minded. After all, nothing is being removed from the zombie science we know and adhere to, they are merely adding a different aspect to it. Zombies are still technically human and writers like Marion are just shining a different light on their “personhood”. Who knows, it might end up being brilliant.
Warm Bodies starring Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer and John Malkovich will be in theaters February 1, 2013.