By Simon Dang | The Playlist March 2, 2011 at 3:11AM
Nicholas Hoult is rapidly cementing himself as hot property in tinseltown -- a path he began taking years ago as that kid along side Hugh Grant in "About A Boy."
After the breakout role in Tom Ford's "A Single Man" fell onto his lap, Hoult has since gone on to play Beast in the upcoming "X-Men: First Class," is currently prepping for the lead in Bryan Singer's "Jack The Giant Killer" and has George Miller's new "Mad Max" film somewhere down the line. Not bad for an actor with barely half a dozen films on his resume but it looks like he's outdone himself again, lining up another relatively big role.
THR reports that Hoult will star in Jonathan Levine's upcoming adaptation of Isaac Marion's soon-to-be released novel "Warm Bodies," a zombie apcocalypse love story which Levine boarded early last year.
Described as "Twilight" meets "Shaun Of The Dead," the story follows "an existentially-tormented zombie named R that begins an unlikely friendship with the human girlfriend of one of his victims. The blossoming relationship starts a chain reaction that will transform him, his fellow zombies and maybe the whole lifeless world." The project is setup at Summit Entertainment ("Twilight" reference explained?) and has producer Bruna Papandrea on board with Laurie Webb & Cori Shepherd Stern exec producing.
From all reports, the unpublished novel is fantastic and is a darkly comic, existential zombie romance set at the end of the world. You can read exerts from a short story the novel is based on in our previous report but here's the full synopsis, courtesy of Borders.
R is a zombie. He has no name, no memories, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is different from his fellow Dead. Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Warm and fierce and very much alive, Julie is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape; she means more than flesh and blood. Something imperceptible shifts, a switch is flicked, and R suddenly finds he wants to save Julie instead of eating her; he wants to protect her, whatever happens. This has never happened before. This is against all the rules and beyond all expectations. R begins to have new thoughts and feelings and powerful longings, and together he and Julie attempt to bring the whole decaying world back from the dead.
Shooting is slated to begin this summer and presumably finished before the fall, when Levine's upcoming cancer-comedy "50/50" starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen among others is due for release. Exciting times for Levine, no doubt.