Nicholas Hoult, who already bagged the title role in Jack the Giant Killer, has landed the lead in Warm Bodies, the Summit Entertainment adaptation of the Isaac Marion novel. The book will be published by Atria, and the film will be directed by Jonathan Levine, who wrote the script. Like the Jack role, this was one of the most coveted parts for young actors.

Hoult will play an existentially tormented zombie who begins an unlikely friendship with the girlfriend of one his victims, and it starts a chain reaction that transforms him and perhaps will do the same for his fellow zombies and maybe the whole lifeless world. Summit production president Erik Feig and veep Gillian Bohrer are overseeing.

Shooting starts late summer, after Hoult completes Jack the Giant Killer for director Bryan Singer at New Line. Hoult is repped by UTA and UK-based Independent. The British actor, who has grown from the About A Boy hanf-pint into a 6’3″ leading man. Hoult starred in the original UK series Skins, and starred with Colin Firth in the Tom Ford-directed A Single Man.

Hoult will next be seen playing the role of Beast in X-Men: First Class coming out in June through 20th Century Fox. Hoult will also star in Fury Road, the George Miller-directed prequel to the Mad Max films. That will film next year, with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron also starring.