By Gabe Toro | The Playlist September 10, 2011 at 7:30AM
While we're fans of Johnathan Levine, director of the recent "50/50," we're in wait-and-see mode regarding "Warm Bodies," the zombie romance the helmer is currently filming. He's got Nicolas Hoult and Teresa Palmer as the very pretty lead duo, with Hoult as a love-struck zombie in pursuit of a human female companion. Rob Corddry and John Malkovich have also been cast, but it seems the new, youthful additions of Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton and Cory Hardrict to the cast clarify the "Twilight" angle of this premise, based on a novel described as " 'Twilight' meets 'Shaun of the Dead.' "
The younger Franco, who has been following in his brother James' footsteps by keeping busy, will play Palmer's boyfriend, the leader of the human resistance. The young Tipton, who is one of Whit Stillman's "Damsels In Distress," plays Palmer's friend, dealing with her own, um, "budding emotions" according to Variety. And Hardrict plays one of Malkovich's right hand men running a zombie-free enclave called the Green Zone (topical!) and, because this is a big studio movie (or semi-studio: sorry Summit), he'll probably be considered "the black one."
Zombie movies keep happening because it's fun to play "spot the metaphor," but given that "Twilight" profits are about to dry up at Summit and that the logline for the book explicitly references the Stephanie Meyer "novels," it seems clear what we're getting here: an emphasis on romance written by the unromantic and/or deeply cynical and aimed towards young, undiscerning audiences with no regard for the existential tragedy of a man-turned-monster. Levine is better than that, but so is Oscar-winner Bill Condon, director of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn."