We still have quite awhile before “Warm Bodies” hits theaters next fall, but little by little we’ve been gathering enough information from leaked photos and the major players involved to get more and more excited about the big-screen adaptation of Isaac Marion’s zombie romance.
During our recent chat about his upcoming SXSW debut, we asked Dave Franco for his take on the film, in which he plays teenager Perry Kelvin, a very curiously key character in the relationship between the story’s central characters R and Julie.
“To be completely honest I was a little hesitant about it at first because it was another zombie movie and there have been a lot of those recently,” Dave admitted. “The main reason I was excited about it was because of [director] Jonathan Levine. I am a huge fan of his. I loved “The Wackness” and of course “50/50,” but I knew that even though it was this genre we’ve seen over and over, I knew he’d bring his own take to it and make it interesting.”
In fact, Dave couldn’t help but gush about Jonathan’s love of filmmaking and his re-assuring directing style. “If you do a take that he really likes he’ll jump out of his chair, running at you pumping his fist telling you how amazing you are,” Dave said. “He just makes you feel so safe it’s unbelievable. He’s so smart and has great sensibilities. Anytime in the script where there could be a moment of melodrama, he allowed the actors to do their own thing and make it as grounded as possible. I know there are going to be comparisons to the “Twilight” movies and I’m not trying to sh– on them in any way, but this one will stand apart. Even though it is a zombie monster movie in a way, it is very grounded in reality.”
With regard to how his character is adapted from the book to the confines of the film, Dave revealed that the character is slightly more fleshed out. (No pun intended, though I wish I had thought to.)
“There definitely is an arc there. He starts out as this naive, sweet, wide-eyed kid who’s in love with Julie and witnesses his father turning into a zombie and dying in front of his eyes,” Dave said. “It hardens him. He becomes this kid who loses all humanity and has this one-track mind of killing off, ending the zombie apocalypse. There was a lot to play with. It was fun to do a more dramatic role.”
And like his co-star and leading lady Teresa Palmer, Dave had plenty of praise for star Nicholas Hoult’s performance as conflicted, sentient zombie R.
“Nick Hoult, it was one of these roles that could have been a huge disaster,” Dave said. “He barely talks in the movie. The only time he talks for the most part is in voice over and when he’s talking in voice over he’s very eloquent, almost poetic and when he’s actually interacting with other humans and zombies he can only kind of grunt and moan. It could have been a huge disaster, but Nick Hoult is so talented and so subtle and real that it all hinges on him and he killed it.”
2012 February 18 Warm Bodies