Levine is writing, directing the Summit pic

John Malkovich is in final negotiations to join the cast of Summit Entertainment’s zombie pic “Warm Bodies.”

Jonathan Levine (“50/50″) is writing and directing the film, which will star Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer and Rob Corddry.

Based on the book by Isaac Marion, story follows an existentially tormented zombie named “R” who begins an unlikely friendship with the girlfriend of one of his victims. It starts a chain reaction that will transform him, his fellow zombies, and maybe the whole undead world.

Malkovich will play General Grigio, who’s obsessed with the destruction of the zombie threat.

Bruna Papandrea is producing through her Make Movies banner along with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman via their Mandeville Films banner. Laurie Webb and Cori Shepherd Stern are exec producing.

Erik Feig, Summit’s President of Production, Gillian Bohrer, Summit’s VP of Production and Jeyun Choi, Summit’s Creative Executive, will oversee the project for the studio.

Role will mark another villainous turn for Malkovich, who has made a career out of playing the bad guy with infamous roles in “Con Air” and “In the Line of Fire.”

Malkovich was most recently seen in Paramount’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”

He is repped by WME.

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