As "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2" continues to occupy the No. 1 spot at the box office, there's another supernatural romance right behind it that could produce similar box office returns.
Based on the book by Issac Marion, "Warm Bodies" focuses on the aftermath of a zombie outbreak. As human's struggle to survive the deadly epidemic, Julie (Teresa Palmer), a human girl, befriends an unusual Zombie named R (Nicholas Holt). As their relationship develops, Julie finds herself falling for R, who gradually begins to develop human traits.
Written and directed by Jonathan Levine, "Warm Bodies" offers a spin on the traditional romantic comedy. Though Summit Entertainment, the studio behind "Twilight Saga," has been marketing "Warm Bodies" to the franchise's tween-heavy female audience, the self-referential flick -- which at times spoofs itself -- will likely appeal to men and women alike.
Yet its also possible that the premise of "Warm Bodies" could alienate those unclear about what to make of the genre-blending movie. The film could easily follow the same path as "Shawn of the Dead," which failed to lure audiences to theaters but has gradually reached cult status since it was released in 2004.
There's also a lack of well-known stars in the dark comedy, aside from John Malkovich, who will no doubt provide the film with some indie cred. The British-born Hoult, who starred in "About A Boy" and the hit "X-Men: First Class," is mostly popular in the UK, while Australian-born Palmer has mostly starred in B-films like "The Grudge 2."
Still, Levine believes that there is much to enjoy about "Warm Bodies" and that the film will appeal to a variety of filmgoers.
"I think the main thing we want people to know is that it's not trying to be trendy or popular," he said of the film in an interview with MTV. "It's widely unique in its tone, and it's a very character-driven story. To me, that's what I really want people to take away from it, and, at the same time, we want people to know it's going to be fun and unique and it's not going to be derivative."
"I think this movie takes the mythology in a different direction," he continued. "And I think there is a lot there for die-hard zombie fans," he explained. "We're encouraging people to be open-minded, because it does take some liberties with the mythology, but at the same time, it's very grounded in the science of zombie-ism and uses that as a springboard for a more fantastical story."
"Warm Bodies" is set to debut next February, a month filled with supernatural films like "Beautiful Creatures," "Escape from Planet Earth" and "Dark Skies." Since March marks the release of "Carrie" and "The Host," an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's best-selling alien romance, the first quarter of 2013, will likely draw young adult audiences and those seeking light popcorn fare following Oscar season.
"Warm Bodies" opens on Feb. 1, 2013.