By Josh Wigler
While "Twilight" fends off "True Blood" for supremacy over the vampire romance market, the Stephenie Meyer-penned series might have an unlikely lovelorn competitor to contend with — the newly announced "John Carter of Mars" starring Taylor Kitsch could well be Hollywood's next romantic hit.
Nothing can top the electric, blood-lusting chemistry of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, right? We're not so sure about that — and you might not be either after you see "Carter." After the jump, five reasons why the upcoming sci-fi adventure could dethrone "Twilight" as the king of the high-concept romance genre.
1. The "Twilight" series takes readers and moviegoers from a small town in Washington to the nooks and crannies of Europe, but "John Carter of Mars" trumps that distance and then some. The story starts off shortly after the American Civil War before suddenly jettisoning the lead character to Mars, where he falls in love with a beautiful Martian princess. Star-crossed lovers, indeed!
2. It's hard to imagine anyone topping Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart for romantic tension and teenage interest, but that's what they said about Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, too. Cue Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins, the "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" co-stars that will take the lead roles in "John Carter of Mars," and could very well take the place of Pattinson and Stewart in fandom's hearts, too.
3. "John Carter of Mars" will be directed by Andrew Stanton, the filmmaker behind Pixar's 2008 hit "WALL-E." With his animation sensibilities in full force, Stanton's vision of Mars is sure to provide a visceral backdrop to the epic love story between Kitsch's John Carter and Collins' Princess Dejah Thoris.
4. Let's face it – by the time "John Carter" hits theaters, vampires will be so 2009. It's time for us to focus our attention on a new legion of heartthrobs, and we can think of no better candidate than the Martian to overtake today's bloodsucking icons.
5. As it stands, there are only four completed novels in the "Twilight" series, while the "Mars" franchise has almost a dozen — meaning that there could be an equal number of sequels. Combine that with the books themselves, and freshly converted "John Carter" fans will have a whole new world of romantic fiction to discover.
So who's ready to hop onboard the "John Carter" bandwagon? And who disagrees that it will take over the "Twilight" empire?