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Hoult to star in Summit’s ‘Bodies’

Pic to be directed by Jonathan Levine

Summit has cast British thesp Nicholas Hoult as the lead in supernatural romancer “Warm Bodies,” to be directed by Jonathan Levine who also adapted the screenplay.

Summit acquired feature rights early last year to “Bodies” and tapped Levine. Project’s based on a book by Isaac Marion, who originally self-published the novel and sold it through his website before the publishing rights were picked up by Atria Books.

Production is set to start this summer. Story centers on an existentially tormented zombie who begins an unlikely friendship with the girlfriend of one of his victims.

Levine wrote and directed “The Wackness” and helmed “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.”

Pic is being produced by Bruna Papanadrea through her Make Movies banner, and exec produced by Laurie Webb and Cori Shepherd Stern.

Hoult will next be seen in “X-Men: First Class” and is about to start shooting “Jack the Giant Killer.” He’s also attached to star opposite Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron for director George Miller’s “Fury Road” for Warner Bros.

Hoult broke into showbiz in 2002’s “About a Boy,” in which he played the nervous 12-year-old who complicates Hugh Grant’s life, then appeared in teen drama “Skins.” Recent feature credits include Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” and “Clash of the Titans.”

Erik Feig and Gillian Bohrer will oversee “Bodies” for Summit.

Hoult is represented by UTA and U.K.-based Independent.