I first ran into author Isaac Marion after hearing about this amazing new author that took the zombie genre and did something totally new and unique with it. After devouring Warm Bodies during a flight from DC to San Diego, I was sold on this new author and had to reach out to him to talk about his work.
The film adaptation of Warm Bodies is about to hit theaters on February 1, and I recently caught up with Marion again to discuss what it’s like having his first novel get turned into a highly anticipated film.
FEARnet: Okay let’s pretend for a minute that you and I haven’t spoken a million times (okay two times) – describe for FEARnet fans why you love the zombie genre so much?
Isaac Marion: I wouldn't say I specifically love the zombie genre. I love genre material in general, but I don't usually create or consume it in its pure form. I like art that takes genre elements and elevates them, transcends the tropes and uses them in more interesting ways. Since genre stuff is so deeply imbedded in our pop-culture psyche, it makes a great shortcut to exploring deeper ideas.
I think you captured that perfectly in Warm Bodies. What was the first thing you did when you found out your debut novel was being turned into a feature film?
I think I called my mom to let her know she could stop worrying about me, and give her a little good-natured ribbing for all the effort she spent trying to convince me to sideline my artistic pursuits and go back to college. It was a great moment for my family, who always encouraged me but also tried to be realistic about my chances.
You recently mentioned on Twitter that you missed the Warm Bodies crew – did you get to be on-hand for much of filming?
I was on-set in Montreal for about two weeks. I did get to be a zombie in the background of one scene (squint very carefully at the tall beardy creature shuffling by in the background when R leads Julie through the airport metal detectors) but mostly I was just there to watch. It was an incredible experience to see all the people and places I dreamed up coming to life... or not coming to life, in some cases. And I really loved all the people I met there. It was such a warm, familial atmosphere. At least one of the cast members is a pretty good friend now. We hang out.
We spoke before about you being snow-bound in Montana inside of your RV when the trailer for Warm Bodies first premiered, and as we speak you’re currently in Reykjavik, Iceland! How has your life changed since the film became a reality?
It's gotten vastly more hectic. I knew things would start to boil up once the trailer hit but I underestimated it. There have been a lot of fan letters and interviews and promotional trips... flying all over the place to do press in LA, Seattle, f*cking Bulgaria... it's quite overwhelming. I'm actually really looking forward to things calming down so I can get back to writing.
What are you most looking forward to when you attend the premiere on February 1?
It'll be fun to see how my country folk parents handle the madness of Hollywood. My mom hasn't left the Pacific Northwest since her teens and has never been in a taxi. But honestly, what I'm looking forward to most is going home afterwards. Sleeping for a few days. Having a cup of coffee on my porch and petting my cat. Then writing a new book.
Speaking of new books, Marion is currently working on several “Warm Bodies” related projects, including both a prequel and a sequel to his hit novel. You can catch the film, starring John Malkovich and Nicholas Hoult, when it premieres in theaters everywhere on February first, and you can grab the novel wherever books are sold. All photos court