As a genre, the zombie film is pretty thoroughly mined at this point. There has even been a zombie romantic comedy (or zom-rom-com) that made a few fans. You’ve probably seen Shaun of the Dead four or five times by now.

But Warm Bodies, from director Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Wackness, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane) might not be as redundant as the idea of another zom-rom-com might seem. It plays with the tropes of rom-coms and zombie films even more, creating an exaggerated “wrong side of the tracks” romance where, in this case, the “track” in question is actually the line between life and death.

See, Nicholas Hoult is a zombie, but when he meets Teresa Palmer, his heart starts to beat again. Her father, John Malkovich, isn’t too keen on this. Eventually, it seems other zombies are edging back towards life, too, but in the meantime there’s some weird comedy and romance to play with. Two trailers for the film have hit today, and through them you can start to get an idea of how the mix all works. Read More »

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Captain America 2

We know that Chris Evans is returning for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but there has been a big question mark over the identity of his primary female co-star. Hayley Atwell was well-liked as Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger, but that film’s final jump forward in time makes the character not viable for the sequel.

And so there’s room for a new presence in Captain America 2, which will be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. Marvel is choosing among a number of popular young actresses for the role, with tests taking place. The nature of the part is undisclosed at this point, but the names suggest a key love interest. Read More »

Australian filmmaking collective Blue-Tongue Films has been around for years, but it wasn’t until last year’s acclaimed Animal Kingdom that the group really captured worldwide attention. Directed by member David Michôd, the crime drama turned out to be a career booster for just about everyone involved. But probably no one benefitted more than star Joel Edgerton, who in the past year has become a bona-fide movie star with key roles in such high-profile projects as Warrior, The Thing, and The Great Gatsby.

Now Edgerton’s returning to his roots in another Blue-Tongue feature, this time with collective founding member (and Animal Kingdom co-star) Kieran Darcy-Smith at the helm. Titled Wish You Were Here, the dramatic thriller is slated to open Sundance 2012, two years after Animal Kingdom made waves at the same festival. Antony Starr, Felicity Price, and rising Aussie actress Teresa Palmer also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Here’s the first look at Warm Bodies, which stars Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer and is directed by Jonathan Levine, whose film 50/50 was released not long ago. (He also made All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and The Wackness.) Warm Bodies has been described in short as a zom-rom-com — that’s a zombie romantic comedy — and this first picture makes it appear to be positioned squarely in the Twilight space. That’s a bit odd, since nothing Levine has done before would have suggested that he might aim for the Twilight audience. But this is a Summit film, so perhaps the company sees this as a successor to the soon-ending vampire series.

See a bigger image and refresh yourself on the basics of the film, after the break. Read More »

John Malkovich is in final talks to join the zombie romance Warm Bodies, directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50). Based on the novel by Isaac Marion, the film stars Nicholas Hoult as an angsty zombie named R who strikes up a friendship with the human girlfriend of one of his victims and sets off a chain of events that eventually affects all of zombie society. On the surface, it sounds like a pretty typical supernatural love story, but I’ve heard very good things about the book, so I’ve got high hopes that it won’t just be another Twilight.

Teresa Palmer and Rob Corddry are also set to star, as the human love interest and another zombie undergoing an existential crisis, respectively. Malkovich will be playing the villainous “General Grigio, who’s obsessed with the destruction of the zombie threat.” Oh, and he’s also Julie’s father. How awkward. [Variety]

After the jump, Gwyneth Paltrow and Abigail Breslin sign on for two different sex comedies. Yes, that Abigail Breslin. Yes, we’re getting old.

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It’s not a stretch, I think, to call this the ‘fan-favorite actors’ edition of casting bits. Kyle Chandler, Alexander Skarsgård and Rob Corddry all fall into that catergory, I’d say. So after the break, you’ll find:

  • Kyle Chandler joins Ben Affleck’s Argo,
  • Rob Corddry looks set for zombification in Warm Bodies,
  • and Michael Nyqvist & Alexander Skarsgård are among the crew joining the ‘modern communication’ indie story Disconnect.

Read More »

Oliver Stone‘s adaptation of the novel Savages, in which two pot-dealing friends are roped into working for the drug cartel that kidnaps their young female companion, is becoming a hot property. The combination of a young cast, a long-established major director and lively material tends to do that. Multiple studios were in contention for distribution rights, and Universal has taken the brass ring.

Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch are the leads; Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek are looking like the two key cartel characters, and multiple actresses are reading for the role of the female friend. Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish & Teresa Palmer are all said to be possible names, though Deadline also says Oliver Stone might go with a ‘discovery.’ Oliver Stone, Shane Salerno and novel author Don Winslow are working on the script now.

After the break,  a total change of gears: a Universal film based on the musical In the Heights is no longer happening, for the moment. Read More »

Hey! Remember the ’80s? Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler and Teresa Palmer do. They’re the cast of the upcoming comedy Take Me Home Tonight, which opens March 4 and is set in 1988. As part of the viral marketing campaign for the film, they’ve created a music video that features the whole cast, a ton of cameos and references/reenactments of upwards of 50 classic Eighties movies, all in the course of four minutes. While some of the references are super obvious – Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, etc. – it’s actually pretty fun to watch and pick out a few of the less obvious ones. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »

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