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! ;-)


  1. When I read Warm Bodies I wasn't looking for a zombie novel. I found that it was a wonderfully supernatural story about challenging notions of what "is" and triumphing over adversity, and it just happened to have zombies in it.
    Already you've turned the zombie genre on its head. Instead of mindless monsters you've made them into something much much more. I think if you continued R and Julie's story it would become something amazing.
    Anyone who has read Warm Bodies should want to know what happens next. I was definitely disappointed when I realized I was on the last page. I wanted to see more. Not more zombies, but more of those characters, and to see what becomes of them.
    A true story maker doesn't think about what their agent would say, or how many copies it would sell. I know your heart is in your stories, and you want to make your characters live on.

  2. Thanks Janalle. I really appreciate your appreciation of my story.

    It's not about the commerce of selling copies, it's about people reading it. A subtle distinction, yeah, but an important one to me. The point being, regardless of sales and money considerations, I wouldn't want to spend a year of my life writing a book that only a few people were going to read. If you're telling a story and no one's there to hear it, you're just a crazy person talking to a wall.

    My worry with writing the kind of sequel I have in mind is that it would be a very different book and probably attract a different kind of reader, but it would still be inextricably tied into Warm Bodies, so a new readership wouldn't be able to hop on board for just the sequel, they would be lost. And I would lose a large chunk of Warm Bodies' original fans in the transition. So only the most open-minded readers would appreciate both books, and if the readership is small to begin with, it could be too small to be worth the effort once the casual fans are weeded out. Time will tell. I'll be gauging interest (and cultivating the story) over the next year or two.

  3. Wow, I am so excited for this movie! I definitely think she'll be an awesome Julie.

    I received your book for review a few months ago and I was absolutely blown away, so I would love the idea of a series! Warm Bodies had me raving.

  4. I think a sequel would be amazing. Honestly, I'd read anything you wrote (I have The Inside and Anna, but Warm Bodies is my favorite). I love your short stories too, so I know however you choose to continue it will be interesting...Zombies or no.

  5. Oh, I like Teresa Palmer. She definitely has that badassiness thing going for her. :)

    As for a sequel, I'd die. I didn't read Warm Bodies because it was a zombie novel, a genre I don't think I have much love for. I read it because of the word of mouth. I'd simply heard it was good, and it was fantastic, my favorite book I've read all year. Already passed my copy on to friends, though I'm hoping it'll come back to me soon! I can tell you for sure I would buy book remotely related to that world that you choose to write.

  6. I have to agree with everyone else that's chimed in, if you decided to write a sequel, no matter if it had zombies or not, I'd definitely pick it up. I just have so many fascinations in my head about R and Julie's new existence and with your talents I know you could weave it all together!

  7. I'm very excited at the possibility of a feature film. As a bookseller, I loved your book and have done lots to promote it and hand-sell it to our customers. Sadly, nothing sells books like movies. When I reviewed your book, I noted that it would be amazing adapted to film -- particularly the car jacking scene at the airport and the fight at the top of the stadium. Here's to seeing that film made!

    I'd definitely read a sequel. Honestly, customers around these parts are getting a bit weary of the zombie/vampire/apocalypse plots, and hopefully would jump at the chance of something genre-breaking. Plus, I'm really curious as to what directions you could take R's character development.

  8. I bought Warm bodies for my brother for Christmas 2010 after seeing the book advertised in a Sunday magazine (UK). He finally lent it to me the other week and I could not put it down!! Now I'm a saddo who loves twilight so I love a supernatural romance!! But I NEVER thought I'd like a zombie lead character especially after he killed julies boyfriend. However I really enjoyed the story and would love to know more about their world and what lies ahead for them. Please write a sequel!!!
    M x

  9. oh yes, she will make a fantastic Julie

  10. I am really excited to read that you're considering a sequel! To me, the ending of Warm Bodies left it open for R and Julie's story to widen and flourish. Congratulations on all the success your book is having! I loved it.

  11. I'd like to see the story from M and Julie's mind. You should write one volume for both, if you think they don't have that much to say.
    It would be nice if M knew how R became a Zombie, but forget it and to know what really happens in the airport after R and Julie run away.
    And Julie seems to have had a pretty troubled life before Perry, but also know what she was thinking all the time with R and when she knew R's family and when she go away alone.

    I would read a sequel without zombies, I am horrified by them and almost didn't read the book because the killing in the beggining, but was curious to see what would happen. =)

    I want to know who's going to be Perry!!!!

  12. Well...

    Your site is really very wonderful. f you decided to write a sequel, no matter if it had zombies or not, I'd definitely pick it up...However I really enjoyed the story and would love to know more about their world...
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  13. I loved Warm Bodies and came on here to find out if you've written anything else. I would love to find out what happens next for R and Julie; my enjoyment of Warm Bodies was very little to do with the zombies and very much to do with your eloquent writing and compelling characters. Looking forward to reading more of your books :)

  14. I fell in love with your characters and your writing. The zombie part was just a bonus really. I would love the read a continuation of this story, zombies or not.
    I doubt the film will be able to capture this wonderful book, but I am looking forward to it non the less.
    - oh and I must say, I have never read a book as quickly as Warm Bodies, I really could not put it down:D

  15. You do realise that you will have to write a sequel now, don't you? Now that you've imagined what it might be like, it's only a matter of time before your brain makes you do it.

    Just like being bitten by a zombie really.

  16. I know I'm late to the party, but I wanted to add my two cents. I'll be honest- I went out and bought Warm Bodies originally because as a fan of Nicholas Hoult, I stumbled on the film's IMDB page, and found the plot summary intrigued me. While i enjoy the films, I don't normally go for many books about zombies because the cliches of the genre don't entertain quite the same way in writing. But Warm Bodies didn't sound like your typical 'zombie book', and that made me go out and buy it. I absolutely loved your take on the genre and your style of writing, and wasn't able to put it down. I've been recommending the book to anyone looking for a good read ever since, and obviously I would be over the moon if you wrote a sequel. Especially a sequel like the one you're feeling hesitant to write. Throughout the book, it felt as though you'd created a rich world, full of interesting possibilities, that we were only getting a teensy glimpse of.

    I have to admit, I think that diverging from the zombie genre even further would actually help draw in readers with more diverse tastes. As it was, I was able to convince other people who normally had no interest in zombies to read the book because it was so different. I hope that the film will lead even more people to read and enjoy the novel, and I know I'll continue to point readers in it's direction!

  17. I I love the way you write so regardless of what direction you take this, I will love it anyway. This was the first zombie novel I've read and I think one of the reasons I liked it so much was because it wasn't like all the others ( I have the impression everything is probably like Walking Dead) and there were so many times where I would go back and reread a section because I'm amazed at how you put words together.