Edward and Bella kissing. That's Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in the by now famous The Twilight Saga: Eclipse meadow scene. Directed by David Slade, best known for Hard Candy, Eclipse is supposed to be a darker, more action-filled installment in the Twilight franchise.
Even so, I believe it's the meadow scene that most stands out in the teaser trailer. It's beautifully shot, incredibly romantic, and at the same time profoundly sad. Even in the brightest of sunlights, there can be that “darkness” that envelop two people (or a person and a vampire) who share an “impossible” love. It's that sort of “darkness” that I'm hoping to find in Eclipse.
I'm looking forward to the final, official Eclipse trailer to be shown on Oprah next Friday. (I'll have my DVR ready.) I'm curious to see if Summit will emphasize action over romance so as to attract a larger fan base – or rather, non-fan base – to theaters. But no matter how many fight scenes are to be found in Eclipse, or how many times Taylor Lautner parades around shirtless, I'm quite sure it's the meadow scene that is going to stay with me.
Written by Melissa Rosenberg from Stephenie Meyer's novel, Eclipse opens on June 30. Meyer's novels, as mentioned elsewhere on this site, are #5 among the “most challenged” books of 2009 – books that some would like to have removed from libraries.
Also in the Eclipse cast are Dakota Fanning, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jackson Rathbone, Billy Burke, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Anna Kendrick, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Ashley Greene.
Javier Aguirresarobe provided the great-looking cinematography. Music by Howard Shore.
Photo: Summit Entertainment
Edward and Bella kiss: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart Twilight image
I find Edward and Bella kissing to be one of the most romantic images in movies. I've become acquainted with the Twilight series – from the original to New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn – very recently. Even though I wouldn't call myself a “twihard” – yet – I gotta say that I've become enamored of the characters played by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Gothic or semi-gothic tales about doomed or impossibly difficult love affairs have always been a weakness of mine.
Despite their modern clothing and the fact that their story isn't set in some ancient cottage on the English moors or some dark castle in Bavaria, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan appeal to me mostly because I don't see them as 21st-century teens. In fact, I see their romance as something more profound. Actually, that's not a good word. You can be a (modern) teenager and have “profound” feelings for someone else.
What I mean is that the Bella-Edward romance feels more mature, or rather, more “adult” – despite its high-school setting, and certainly despite Bella's inner conflicts and apparent selfishness. Perhaps that's my imagination at work. I'm really not sure how much of what I “see” is on the page or on screen, and how much is inside my own mind.
But think about it. How easy would it be for you to give up your life as you know it for someone else, even if that someone else looks like Robert Pattinson? Couldn't you at least to a certain extent become confused? Fearful? Perhaps even find another object of desire, however unconsciously or however tentatively? (Of course, it doesn't hurt if the “distraction” happens to look like a fast-maturing Taylor Lautner.)
If you think that adults can't – or don't – act that way, then you haven't been around many adults in your life.
As I've mentioned in a previous post, I do ardently hope that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will live up to my expectations. That the depth (and the darkness) I find in the Bella and Edward romance will be there on screen – and not just inside my head. Well, perhaps it's time I begin calling myself a “twihard,” but I'll hold off until Eclipse comes out.
Remember, the final Eclipse trailer will be shown on Oprah next Friday. It'll probably be all over the Internet right afterwards. David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse opens on June 30.
Whether you like, love, hate, or don't care one way or the other about Bella and Edward, Edward and Bella: Do you have a favorite romantic movie couple? Who would that be?
Now, back to rereading Wuthering Heights.
Photo: Summit Entertainment
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, Eclipse meadow scene
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse's soundtrack compilation is scheduled to be released in the United States on June 8, or about three weeks before the movie opens on North American screens.
At this stage, what songs will be included in the soundtrack album is most anybody's guess. According to earlier reports, Muse's song for the film is out. Others have it that just about everybody, from Adam Lambert to Justin Bieber (dueting with Robert Pattinson…), will be heard on the album's soundtrack. Placido Domingo anyone? What about Joan Jett?
Band 100 Monkeys' Jackson Rathbone, who plays Jasper Hale in the Twilight Saga movies, has reportedly also offered songs from his band.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse score has been composed by three-time Academy Award-winner Howard Shore, among whose credits are the Lord of the Rings trilogy; David Cronenberg's Crash, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises; and David Fincher's Se7en. Now, that sounds promising.
Although the June 8 date is no longer on the Amazon page for the Eclipse soundtrack – it was removed sometime after it first appeared on Monday, April 19 – it is the correct release date according to MTV, which received confirmation from a representative for Atlantic Records.
Those who want to preorder the Eclipse soundtrack can already do so despite the announcement on the album's Amazon page that “a release date has not yet been set for this title.” In fact, lots of people have been doing so, as the Eclipse album currently (early hours, April 20) ranks #17 among Amazon's “music” bestsellers and #2 among its movie soundtracks.
Directed by David Slade from a screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse opens on June 30. The final official Eclipse trailer will be shown on Oprah next Friday.
Photo: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment)
Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen faces Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan in Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight
Writer-director Bill Condon, who won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Gods and Monsters (1998), has been named the director of the last installment(s) of the The Twilight Saga series, Breaking Dawn, which will bring back Robert Pattinson's Edward Cullen, Kristen Stewart's Bella Swan, Taylor Lautner's Jacob Black, and at least one new – and highly unusual – character to boot.
“I'm very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life onscreen,” Condon was quoted as saying. “As fans of the series know, this is a one-of-a-kind book — and we're hoping to create an equally unique cinematic experience.”
Other Oscar-pedigreed filmmakers previously under consideration for Breaking Dawn were Sofia Coppola, Gus Van Sant, and Stephen Daldry, who has recently been announced as the director of the screen adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Catherine Hardwicke directed the first movie, Twilight, which wasn't too warmly received by critics. Even so, the “indie” effort caught everyone by surprise when it became an international box office hit.
Chris Weitz, whose grandmother Lupita Tovar starred in the Spanish-language version of Dracula back in 1931, directed the second, New Moon. That also failed to impress most critics, but it went on to become an even bigger worldwide blockbuster.
David Slade handled the third installment, Eclipse, which opens in the United States next June 30. (The world premiere will be held at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles on June 24.) Slade is supposed to have brought a “darker” feel to Eclipse; and approach that can be clearly seen in the film's official final trailer.
Also, by emphasizing physical over emotional conflict in the trailer – a war pitting an army of nasty new-born vampires against “vegetarian” vampires and werewolves – Summit Entertainment has been desperately trying to erase the “teen girl” stigma attached to the Twilight series. However idiotic, “real men,” won't be caught dead walking into a theater showing a “chick flick.” That would be not only socially unacceptable, but might also lead to myriad fates worse than death.
Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, who has been criticized by numerous Twilight Saga fans, has penned each film adaptation and is reportedly writing The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn as well.
Twilight Saga novelist Stephenie Meyer will co-produce the movie, along with Wyck Godfrey and Karen Rosenfelt.
Breaking Dawn, perhaps the darkest of the Twilight Saga novels, may or may not be turned into two movies that may or may not be filmed in 3D. Curiously, some quite vocal Robert Pattinson fans don't want Summit Entertainment to stretch Breaking Dawn into two flicks. It seems that they're afraid the lengthy shoot will tie Pattinson down, when he could be doing more challenging work elsewhere.
By the way, because of the success of this blog's Twilight posts, I've decided that as the site's publisher it was time I checked out Stephenie Meyer's novels. I'm currently reading Twilight and – even though I'm neither a teen nor a girl – I'm finding it thoroughly engrossing. In truth, I've been having a lot of trouble putting the damn book down.
Photo: Twilight (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment)
Bella and Edward in love: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight
Bill Condon, who will be guiding Twilight Saga leads Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner in Breaking Dawn, is best known for the three feature films he directed in the last twelve years.
Gods and Monsters (1998), was a fictionalized account (based on Christopher Bram's novel Father of Frankenstein) of the twilight of director James Whale's life. Additionally, Condon wrote and directed the Alfred Kinsey biopic Kinsey (2004), starring Liam Neeson, and the musical Dreamgirls (2006), starring Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson.
As I've mentioned in a previous post, James Whale (right), the subject of Condon's Gods and Monsters, would have been an ideal choice for a project like Breaking Dawn. In fact, Whale would probably have been ideal for any of the Twilight saga film adaptations.
Among his quirky character studies disguised as horror movies are Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). All of those feature themes found in the Twilight stories: love, sexuality, revenge, powerlust, social ostracism, the nature of life and death, and what makes a living being “human.”
Boris Karloff's monster, for one, comes across as more human than most warm-blooded men and women out there; by the same token, so does the lovestruck vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight series.
Unfortunately, James Whale has been dead for more than five decades. Else, the Twilight movies would have been quite different.
Now, the good news for Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, and their fellow Breaking Dawn players is that Bill Condon is a solid actors' director.
The three feature films he has directed in the last twelve years have earned Academy Award nominations for four performers (Ian McKellen, Lynn Redgrave for Gods and Monsters; Laura Linney for Kinsey; Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls) and one Oscar victory (Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls). Whether or not he'll have similar success with Summit's tentpole franchise remains to be seen.
Breaking Dawn is expected to begin filming in the fall.
Note: This is an edited / revised version of an article originally posted in April 2010.
Photo: Twilight (Summit Entertainment)
April 9 post
Bill Condon may be the Chosen One to direct the last installment(s) of the The Twilight Saga franchise, Breaking Dawn, which will bring back Robert Pattinson's Edward, Kristen Stewart's Bella, and Taylor Lautner's Jacob. Plus an assortment of unusual characters and equally unusual relationships.
Catherine Hardwicke helmed the first movie, Twilight; Chris Weitz directed the second, New Moon; and David Slade was the man behind the camera of the third, Eclipse, which opens June 30. Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, who has been criticized by numerous fans of Stephenie Meyer's novels, has penned each film adaptation.
Bill Condon is one of the Oscar-pedigreed filmmakers approached by Summit Entertainment to tackle The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, perhaps the darkest of the Twilight Saga novels. To date, it's still unclear if Breaking Dawn will be split into two movies – perhaps shot in 3D, perhaps not.
Other filmmakers under consideration at one point or another were Sofia Coppola, Gus Van Sant, and Stephen Daldry, who has recently been announced as the director of the screen adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Bill Condon won an Academy Award for his (adapted) screenplay for the 1998 psychological drama/fictionalized James Whale biopic Gods and Monsters, which also earned Oscar nominations for Ian McKellen (in the role of the 1930s filmmaker) and Lynn Redgrave (as Whale's maid). Though dramatically uneven, Gods and Monsters had a number of memorable sequences, chiefly thanks to McKellen's and Redgrave's performances.
Condon's Kinsey (2004), a biopic about sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, was equally uneven from a dramatic standpoint. Admittedly, it's nearly impossible to make an effective movie about sex when you can't actually show much of it, while some of the film's “audience friendly” concessions diluted the power of Kinsey's no-holds-barred real-life story. Yet, Kinsey featured several good performances, including those of Liam Neeson in the title role, Academy Award nominee Laura Linney as his wife, and especially Lynn Redgrave in a very touching cameo.
Dreamgirls earned Jennifer Hudson a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in early 2007, but the much-anticipated musical ended up disappointing both at the box office and the Oscars. A shoo-in for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, Dreamgirls was shut out in all three categories – though it did get no less than three nominations for Best Song. But that was little consolation.
Also, early in his career Condon directed the cheapo horror flicks Sister, Sister (1987) and Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995), and a handful of made-for-TV thrillers.
So, would Bill Condon be a good choice as director of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn? Well, he could indeed be the right guy in case he has absorbed and retained some of James Whale's vibes after having written and directed Gods and Monsters.
Among Whale's classics are Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, and The Invisible Man. None of these is an out-and-out horror film; in fact, they're all quirky character studies dealing with complex themes such as sexuality, madness, revenge, megalomania, powerlust, social ostracism, the nature of life and death, and what makes a living being “human.”
Considering the plot elements found in Breaking Dawn – even if they must be bowdlerized and dumbed down so the film can get a PG-13 rating – Whale himself would have been ideal for the project. Too bad he's been dead for more than five decades.
Comments about Bill Condon and James Whale initially posted by André Soares.
Photo: Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Summit Entertainment)