Friday, July 29, 2011

CASTING NEWS! And vague musings on the possibility of a sequel...

So, a lot of people ask me about the cast for the Warm Bodies movie and so far I've had only our star, Nicholas Hoult, to offer. I've actually known who his co-star is going to be for several months, but the official announcement was pending some contractual details being worked out or some such blah-blah and I was forbidden to open my mouth. But despite the lack of features in Variety or other reputable sources, word about our female lead has been steadily leaking, particularly from that female lead herself via interviews and Twitter, so enough already, let's come out with it.

Our fiery heroine Julie Grigio is to be played by this woman:

I'll give you a moment to recover that breath she just took away.

Ok. Her name is Teresa Palmer. She is an up-and-comer, so her name may not rock the bells, but you can find her in "Bedtime Stories" opposite Adam Sandler, "Take Me Home Tonight" opposite Topher Grace, and "I Am Number Four" opposite a slow-motion explosion.

I've only seen her in I Am Number Four, which wasn't exactly a Teresa Palmer showcase (she doesn't have any lines until the last 15 minutes) so I can't claim intimate familiarity with her work or her talents, but I've heard great things about her audition, and based on her performance in IA#4 and general saucyness in interviews, I think she has what it takes to capture the volatile combination of hardened badassery and wounded tenderness that is Julie. I'm eager to see how the chemistry develops between this Aussie firecracker and our politely British zombie hero.

On another note....

To everyone who's asked me if there will be a sequel and had to listen to me rant against the very idea of writing one...I'd like to amend my answer a little. I've had some ideas recently that make the prospect of a sequel much more intriguing. But I think if I do ever write one, it will surprise people. Warm Bodies has already surprised some people by not being what they expected when they heard "zombie novel", but I think the follow-up would diverge even more from that genre. There would still be zombies in it, but they wouldn't necessarily be the focus anymore. I think the characters would find themselves in a world that's much bigger and weirder than they realized, where zombies and skeletons seem almost normal compared to what else is out there. R and Julie would find out what it actually means to be the vanguard of a new breed of humanity, and that it involves a lot more than changing their eye color.

Basically what I'm saying is that, despite what I've said in the past, I think there IS a sequel in there--who knows, maybe even a series. But since it would deviate so much from the original, I would have to have a pretty large and loyal following to risk spending a year or more writing it. I would lose a lot of people by moving away from zombies, so there would have to be a big enough core fanbase to support the book even without all the rabid zombie fans. I'll be watching how things go with the movie and the paperback and all that, and gauging interest. If it seems like enough people care about this world and these characters and are willing to follow them into strange new territory...I just might take them there. So, I guess it's up to you guys. Tell your friends! ;-)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Duck Hero

I have an amazing and heartwarming story for you guys. Yesterday me and Nichole were running errands. It was a miserable day full of pain and sadness and endless medical offices. As we were leaving one of those, we saw a mother duck leading a train of babbys across the road.

Now, Nichole loves ducks to an unreasonable degree. Which is saying something since it's reasonable to love ducks to a pretty damn high degree.


I stopped the car in the middle of the two lanes to protect the duck's passage. We giggled and squealed as the ducks hobbled and quacked. A woman and child on the sidewalk also saw the ducks and joined us in the squee party. All human hearts within range were severely warmed.

Suddenly, a metaphorical cloud passed over the sun, which was also metaphorical. The ducks were on the grassy median and were hobbling and quacking into the other side of the street. A large silver SUV with an elderly man at the wheel was barreling toward them. It seemed highly unlikely that he would see the ducks.


A vision unfolded in my head. While Nichole and the woman and the child and myself--all of us passionate lovers of ducks--look on in horror, the ducks disappear beneath the SUV's cruel black tires. Nichole, overwhelmed by the sight of her day's one ray of light snuffed out before her eyes, jumps in front of a passing truck and kills herself. The mother and daughter, who were on their way home from the funeral of the woman's parents and husband and son--who were all recently killed by an SUV--also lose all hope and suffer simultaneous brain aneurysms. The elderly man who killed the ducks steps out of the car and removes his Vietnam Veteran baseball cap.

"There is no innocence left in the world," he mutters. "I have killed it all."

He pulls a pistol out of his jacket and shoots himself in the head. His brains spray all over his wife's face. His wife has a brain aneurysm. I am left alone in a field of blood and sadness. I cry for a few minutes and then have a brain aneurysm. Later, the duck autopsy reveals the baby ducks died of brain aneurysms moments before impact so in a sense, they were killed twice.


Because as the SUV was hurtling toward tragedy, Nichole leaped into action! Without a moment's hesitation she dived out of the car and ran toward the SUV, waving her arms and screaming, "DUCKS! DUUUUUUUUCKS!"

The elderly man screeched to a stop mere feet from the ducks. The ducks, realizing they had just felt death's rancid breath on their hilarious little waddling butts, sped up slightly until they were across the road and safe in the grass.

The elderly man got out of his SUV and took off his Vietnam Veteran baseball cap. He looked at Nichole. Nichole looked at him. He gave her a crisp, wet-eyed salute, and she returned it. We all went home, pondering life and mortality and ducks.

This morning, a letter arrived in the mail. There was a key in it. It was the key to the city of Duckburg.

My girlfriend is a hero in Duckburg.