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Three New Photos From 'Warm Bodies' Begs The Question: Is Nicholas Hoult A Star Yet?

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by The Playlist
January 10, 2012 9:47 PM
14 Comments
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Every few years, Hollywood annoints a new star. Sometimes it's a Tom Hardy, other times it's a Taylor Kitsch, and it can also be a  Jeremy Renner. What these actors all share in common is that they're considered leading men long before they're actually stars: meaning, they're leading films, but the public doesn't know who they are yet. In the case of Hardy and Renner, The Weinstein Company and Paramount are bumping the releases of their smaller films ("The Wettest County" and "Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters" respectively) in hopes that their upcoming tentpoles ("The Dark Knight" and "The Bourne Legacy" respectively) will match the signal to noise ratio of their Tinsteltown buzz (in the case of Kitsch, both Disney and Universal are gambling hard).

This is a long-winded way of saying that for the early twenties set, "Warm Bodies" actor Nicholas Hoult is that type of quote unquote star (age 22). Known for his debut in "About A Boy" in 2002, Hoult did little in terms of noticeable roles until an impressive supporting turn in 2009's "A Single Man." And then something happened. He apparently started wowing casting agents in Hollywood and generating a heat that a great many agents wanted to be a part of. That's not to say that he isn't worth the hype. Like Hardy and Renner, Hoult has proven he's the real deal so far. It's just interesting to see Hollywood look over its shoulder and want a piece of the pie, even if they're not sure of the value of that confection, simply because everyone wants a slice.

So Hoult then found himself in a supporting role in "X-Men: First Class," and this year he'll be leading two fairly big pictures. One is Warner Bros.' big and expensive tentpole, "Jack the Giant Killer," the other is Summit's more modest zombies/romance film, "Warm Bodies."

Directed by Jonathan Levine ("The Wackness," "50/50"), "Warm Bodies" also features up-and-coming starlet Teresa Palmer alongside Analeigh Tipton, John Malkovich, Dave Franco and Rob Corddry. The flick puts a new spin on the zombie tale that we won't have seen before on screen: humanizing them. 'Bodies' centers on a zombie (Hoult) who becomes involved with the girlfriend (Palmer) of one of his victims, their romance sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.

While other zombie films are in the works, including two in development that will also try to flip the script by injecting humanity into the genre, ("Pride & Prejudice & Zombies" and "Breathers: A Zombie's Lament") director Jonathan Levine will be the first one out of the gate when "Warm Bodies" arrives later this summer on August 8th. In fact, he'll have the first zombie-related movie of the year, as "World War Z" won't be in theaters until December.

"We’ll beat them six months to the screen, which is cool," he told us last September while promoting "50/50." "Even if there are similarities, I can’t imagine they’ll be very similar. Hopefully, I don't fuck it up for them. Or hopefully I do fuck it up for them. I mean, it's so good that no one could possibly make another one again, ever."

Back to our original point. Is Hoult a star yet and can he carry two summer tentpoles, one albiet much smaller than its fairy tale predecessor? It's anyone's guess, but "Warm Bodies" will at least have the benefit of "Jack The Giant Killer" appearing in theaters almost two months before it. Can Hoult connect, or can the film appeal to audiences beyond its star? Will Hollywood feel burned by vaulting new stars to the A-list before the box-office has deemed them worthy? Meanwhile, here's three new images, plus one you saw this morning, you can chew on until we know the answers to those questions.

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14 Comments

  • Juline | December 26, 2012 10:28 PMReply

    WOW! You guys are pretty pathetic talkin crap about a guy you don't know and being so judgmental, I don't see any of you guys makng much of yourselves, It's pretty sad you have to talk shit just to talk.

  • Lisa | January 14, 2012 7:39 AMReply

    I read the book Warm Bodies and it's nothing like a Twilight, this isn't sparkling vampires just with zombies that I promise!

    But if the film will be directed to a Twilight fans only or a wider audience I can't tell (that early debut picture of R and Julie resembled too much of Twilght). However these recents shots from the film don't look too bad. Guess we'll know for sure when a trailer comes out. If they can capture the theme and story from the book, then I think they can pull off something great.

    And I've seen Nicholas Hoult in some things a few years ago, I think he'll be perfect for the role since it's not that well a known face as other actors on the big screen.

  • Kal | January 11, 2012 7:00 AMReply

    He's a good actor, but right now he's in the line of being a teenage idol and potential leading man.
    I'm not saying he's acting bad, because it seems to me that he has more talent than R. Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, the majority of the Twilight clan and many other actors. But what will define him is the kind of movies that he will do.

  • vonDread | January 11, 2012 6:14 AMReply

    By the way, does anyone else imagine him speaking in the voice of Richmond from The IT Crowd? That would totally sell the movie for me.

  • keto | January 11, 2012 4:05 AMReply

    this guys was actually one of the leads from british series Skins so he's fairly known over there(and abroad for those who are familiar with the series), and i think he can carry a film, as for the tentpole jack the giant killer it will probably flop but not because of this kid but because the movie will blow, i have no idea how warm bodies will turn out, might be a new twilight or it could be forgotten in few months

  • vonDread | January 11, 2012 3:41 AMReply

    Jesus Christ this looks Twilight-y. Not a surprise, but I was really hoping for them to steer clear of that. I don't think it's quite a lost cause, but any expectations I had for it just went down the toilet. Guess we'll see what the reviews say.

  • Ray | January 10, 2012 11:44 PMReply

    Of course he's not a star, ask 20 random people on the street if they knew who he was and i wouldn't be surprised if no one knew his name.

  • Piotr | January 10, 2012 11:43 PMReply

    Let's put it this way: He's a star when I know how to spell his name. I always think it's Nicolas without an "h," but I'm wrong. So there, he's not a star. Settled.

  • padre | January 10, 2012 11:26 PMReply

    Which articles get bylines by people and which are left with the anonymous "The Playlist" tag, is always interesting. Sometimes it seems to be about protecting a source "Oooh, who leaked that email?" Sometimes an article has a dozen contributors, who are then listed within the article, like the "Best of" lists. Other times it just seems everyone is too embarrassed of an article to put their names on it. Which brings us to this interesting specimen. The answer was obvious before even the first word of the article was written, as the writer knew. If one has to ask "Is he a star?" then of course the answer is "No." Stardom isn't something that needs to be puzzled out by PhDs, it is a phenomenon evident on its face. "Has the hole in the Ozone sucked out all our air?" Well, you're still breathing aren't you, so "No." This was an answer evident before it was asked, because it answer was obvious to all the minute they wake up each morning. I am happy my favorite movie site had found another source of income with publicists, even if they are too embarrassed to put their name on it.

  • Salvador | January 10, 2012 11:05 PMReply

    Greetings,

    My name is Salvador, I am the Managing Director for MovieBoozer, a unique and fresh movie review blog that rates movies by beers, posts movie drinking games, with news, trailer reviews, podcast, and a web comic. We have been producing humorous content for more than a year. We have more than 20 movie reviewing contributors who are film students, graduates, and Ph. Ds reviewing movies based on our beer rating system. The idea is, if a movie is bad, drink more beer (Six-Pack being our worst honor). A good movie we recommend one beer which we call A Toast, we raise a glass of beer and toast what we loved about the movie.

    I'm writing to say hello and introduce myself. I also review movies for MovieBoozer and I wanted to acquaint our blog with other movie bloggers. If you enjoy our content and feel the urge to let your readers know about us, awesome!

    Thank you for providing such great content!

    Cheers!

    -Salvador

  • tie | January 10, 2012 10:18 PMReply

    He needs to look at his life, look at his (career) choices. This looks tragic.

  • kure | January 10, 2012 10:13 PMReply

    and both hardy and hoult will be in mad max!!!

  • sku | January 10, 2012 10:09 PMReply

    Can't believe you didn't mention Sam Worthington in this discussion.

  • The Playlist | January 10, 2012 10:25 PM

    But Sam Worthington's average box-office haul domestically $136 million. "Avatar" aside, "Terminator Salvation" and "Clash Of The Titans" were big hits (especially the latter; 'TS' had a big budget and needed worldwide grosses to help it not become a loser in respect to its budget, but $371 million worldwide is nothing to sneeze at).

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