Almost every film needs a villain and the Warm Bodies adaptation appears to have found its bad guy in the form of John Malkovich, who is in negotiations to join the supernatural young adult romance flick (a.k.a. "Romeo and Juliet plus zombies").
Meanwhile, Marion Cotillard will take a break from starring in Christopher Nolan-directed blockbusters by following up The Dark Knight Rises with a role in Rust and Bones - a film being crafted by the same writing/directing team responsible for the recent Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-nominee, A Prophet.
Warm Bodies is based on Isaac Marion's popular novel, which is generally described as a cross between Twilight and Shaun of the Dead (take that as you will). Rust and Bones, by comparison, is actually an adaptation of author Craig Davidson's short story collection of the same name.
Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class) and Teresa Palmer (I A Number Four) are playing the leads in Warm Brodies, which is set against the backdrop of the zombpocalypse. It tells the tale of R (Hoult), the lone zombie who is existentially tormented by his need to feed on live human brains. R eventually forms an almost romantic connection with Julie (Palmer), the girlfriend of one of his more recent victims, which further reawakens his own humanity.
Heat Vision says that Malkovich is in talks to play "the baddie" in Warm Bodies, which could mean he's up to portray Julie's father - a ruthless general who runs one of the last remnants of human society. That sounds promising enough, seeing how one of Malkovich's specialities is playing villiains, especially of the cunning variety (see: In the Line of Fire, Con Air, Ripley's Game, etc.). Just don't count on him being quite as much fun as he was in the last film where he played a military man (see: RED).
Warm Bodies is being scripted and directed by Jonathan Levine (The Wackness), whose dramedy 50/50 hit theaters at the end of this month. The early buzz around that flick is pretty good, and pegs it as pulling off a nice mix of laughs and drama, without ever becoming too serious or corny. Hopefully Levine will bring that same touch to his zombie movie, which likewise reads as something that could turn out pretty bad - in the wrong hands.
Rust and Bones
Marion Cotillard has worked on several big Hollywood productions since her Best Actress Oscar win - including Public Enemies, Nine, Inception, Contagion, and Christopher Nolan's aforementioned third Batman movie. With Rust and Bones, though, she'll be back on familiar, but different, territory (re: a low-budget, foreign-language flick).
Here is an official description of Craig Davidson's original Rust and Bones short story collection:
In steel-tipped prose, Craig Davidson conjures a savage world populated by fighting dogs, prizefighters, sex addicts, and gamblers. The twenty-seven bones of the title story are the bones in a boxer's hands; once broken, they never heal properly, and the fighter's career descends to bouts that have less to do with sport than with survival: no referee, no rules, not even gloves. In "A Mean Utility" we enter an even more desperate arena: dogfights where Rottweilers, pit bulls, and Dobermans fight each other to the death.
How exactly A Prophet director Jacques Audiard and his co-writer, Thomas Bidegain, are planning to turn Rust and Bones into a film is not clear. Variety says the project is being described as "a mix of suspense and love", so take that for what it's worth.
All the same, A Prophet was one of the more impressively gritty and overall inventive gangster/crime dramas released in recent memory - so it will be exciting to see what Audiard and Bidegain make of Rust and Bones, with Cotillard (who it's near impossible to go wrong with) as the main starlet.
Warm Bodies is expected to reach theaters by the second half of 2012.
We will keep an eye out for more information about Rust and Bones in the future.
Source: THR, Variety