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Cover Awards – EW: Behind Twilight’s Success Plus Sequel Details

November 27, 2008
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source: Cover Awards

Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling Twilight saga just took a shocking bite out of the box office. Well, shocking to everyone but her fans. This week’s Entertainment Weekly has the story behind the smash—and the scoop on the sequel, New Moon.

The first movie to be adapted from Meyer’s breakout hit—about the chaste romance between reb­el vampire Edward and a shy high school girl named Bella—left many, if not all, of the author’s fans in a state of religious ecstasy. Made for under $40 million, Twilight far exceeded box office predictions, pull­ing in a dizzying $70.6 million over opening weekend. As the receipts over the weekend were tallied, Meyer ner­vously awaited news that the adaptation of her first book was a hit. “There’s that petty part of me that wants the movie to do really great so no one can say ‘See, all this build-up for something stupid! Ha, what a flop!’” she’d told EW a few weeks earlier. Turns out her wish was her fans’ command.

On Saturday morning, after celebrating news that the film had already taken in more than $35 million, Twilight’s film studio Summit e-mailed a letter to Twilight fans, signed by their stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, expressing gratitude and delight at moving forward with a sequel. But the studio still hasn’t con­firmed whether the rest of the cast will be brought aboard for New Moon. Fans are particularly invested in whether Taylor Lautner, who is shorter and more boyish-looking than his character, Jacob, will return to vie for Bella’s heart. “We are definitely talking and thinking about it right now,” says Eric Feig, Summit’s president of production. “Taylor’s fantastic as Jacob in Twilight. I think when we get closer to shooting, the director is going to look at everyone as if they are brand-new to the role.”

And just who that director will be remains to be seen. As of press time, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke hadn’t signed on. But she spent much of the weekend sequestered in meetings with lawyers, agents, and studio execu­tives. She felt hamstrung by her modest budget through much of the Twilight shoot. “I had more elaborate stunt sequences designed and very cra­zy, cool stuff that I wanted to do,” she says. “We had locations taken away. We had five days cut be­fore we started to shoot. But, you know, after I kind of got past that, I just had to let it go.” After the grueling production, Hardwicke now wants to make sure the studio shows her the money to properly tackle New Moon’s tricky plotline—which includes location shooting in Rome and several characters who must realistically morph from teenage boys to werewolves. Summit’s Feig maintains that the sequel doesn’t neces­sarily demand a bigger budget. “I don’t think there was any­thing excessively lavish about Twilight, and yet the world was fully realized,” he says. “We’ll do exactly the same thing with New Moon.” Well, the studio might want to throw more money at the universally trashed special effect that was supposed to make Pattinson sparkle magically in the sunlight but left him looking merely sweaty. “People make realistic CGI dragons, so you wouldn’t think making people sparkle would be that hard,” says Meyer.

For now, only Pattinson and Stewart will live on in Meyer’s fantasy world. The two young stars, neither of whom banked on this sudden explosion of fame when they signed on for the movie, are now limping through the last lap of their American promotional tour. Stewart in particular seems ill-suited for the rigors of sound-bite TV, as she fidgeted and frowned her way through awkward appearances on Late Show With David Letterman and the Today show. “I think she’s had a lot of trouble,” says Hardwicke. “She knows it’s important, but it’s not her favorite part of the job.” Pattinson seems to have a better game face but he did have one flash of rebellion. “I cannot wait to cut my hair,” he told EW in September. “It’s so annoying! I was at a photo shoot the other day, and people were saying, ‘They say we can’t touch your hair. You have trademarked hair!’ No, I don’t.” And so, despite the studio’s warning that his ragged mop mustn’t be touched, he cut off his hair in between press junkets.

Fans can now debate online about whether Pattinson was dreamier with short or long hair, just as they continue to wrestle over whether they love or hate the film they’ve imagined for so long in their heads. Lisa Hansen, the creator of the website Twilight Moms, says the movie has left her blog community polarized. “But the interesting thing about this is that everyone is also saying how after seeing it a second time they loved it,” she wrote in an e-mail before heading out to see her fourth screening. “It seems to be the general consensus that it gets even better every time you see it.” And so the phenomenon lives on, and on, and on.

Plus: A Hater’s Guide to Twilight by Clark Collis.

Source: EW

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 11, 2008 2:22 am

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