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Twilight Saga: To Brazil or Not?

Eclipse Dakota Fanning Jane starving eyes
Eclipse with Dakota Fanning as Jane: Starving eyes.
Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Oct. 27 update: On Monday, I posted a brief article explaining that RioFilme president Sérgio Sá Leitão had recently stated on his Twitter page that he still had no news about director Bill Condon, and stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart coming to Rio de Janeiro to film scenes from Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.

Since then, when not discussing Brazil’s run-off presidential election (which will be held next Sunday), Leitão has tweeted about RioFilme’s efforts to attract foreign companies to shoot movies in Rio. Twice he mentioned Breaking Dawn.

First, he stated that RioFilme has been working hard to bring to Rio both Breaking Dawn and the just-confirmed Fast Five, the fifth installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise.

Later, he tweeted “Not yet” in response to someone asking whether he had heard anything new about Breaking Dawn.

At G1/O Globo, Leitão elaborated some more:

“I’d say that now we’re on the last stretch, and it’s for that very reason that I’m not allowed to give out many details. The only thing I can say is that negotiations are at a very advanced stage.”

As for Fast Five, to be directed by Justin Lin, and starring Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, and Vin Diesel, Leitão says the expected four-day shoot sometime in November will add $2 million to the state’s economy. Scenes will be set in Rio’s historic downtown area, the beaches, the Sugar Loaf, and the Christ statue.

Several weeks ago, Leitão had tweeted that Fast Five would use CGI to recreate Rio on screen. Apparently, RioFilme’s efforts have persuaded Original Film/Universal to use real Rio locations at least for some of scenes.

Oct. 25

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Eclipse
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart in David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn in Rio de Janeiro.

Those wondering if that dawn will ever break somewhere in Rio, where Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) spend their honeymoon, will have to go on wondering until Summit Entertainment makes some sort of official announcement one way or the other.

The latest on Breaking Dawn on RioFilme president Sérgio Sá Leitão’s Twitter page was a brief Oct. 22 tweet that read: “No news about Breaking Dawn for the time being.” That’s the way it’s been for the last two months or so.

Directed by Bill Condon, and also starring Taylor Lautner, Breaking Dawn is currently being shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where, among countless momentous happenings, Robert Pattinson not only rented a bike, but actually went pedaling.

Oct. 13: Summit Entertainment has announced a number of new The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn cast additions, who’ll play members of the various vampire covens – and some “nomads” – that ally themselves with the Cullen Clan, led by Kristen Stewart’s Bella and Robert Pattinson’s Edward. (Well, Peter Facinelli’s Carlisle is the actual Cullen leader, but Breaking Dawn truly belongs to Bella.)

The Amazon Coven, which has existed for centuries secluded from civilization, will be comprised of Tracey Heggins as Senna and Judi Shekoni as Zafrina. Expect some funky clothes, weird accents, and bizarre make-up.

Joining the previously announced Rami Malek as Benjamin, the Egyptian Coven will include the excellent Omar Metwally (Munich) as Amun, Andrea Gabriel (Lost) as Kebi, and Angela Sarafyan (The Good Guys) as Tia.

The members of the Irish Coven are Marlane Barnes as Maggie, Lisa Howard as Siobhan, and Patrick Brennan as Liam. The Irish Coven members are nice and all, but don’t be fooled: they suck people dry.

The Romanian Coven, whose members are older than dust, consists of Noel Fisher as Vladimir and Guri Weinberg as Stefan. The Romanians carry a deep resentment against the Volturi, whom they blame for their downfall from power. They see the upcoming battle as their chance to dethrone their ancient rivals.

The American Nomads, who aren’t necessarily members of any particular coven or clan, are Lee Pace as Garrett, Toni Trucks as Mary, Bill Tangradi as Randall, Erik Odom as Peter, and Valorie Curry as Charlotte.

Joe Anderson will play the European Nomad Alistair, whose chief concern is the safety of his own skin.

Bill Condon is directing Breaking Dawn, to be split into two parts, and which also stars Taylor Lautner, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, and Jackson Rathbone.

Photo: Universal / NBC.

Oct. 4: In-between pro-Workers Party political chat on Twitter – general elections were held in Brazil on Sunday – RioFilme’s president Sérgio Sá Leitão tweeted that there’s “no news regarding Breaking Dawn,” which still may or may not be partly filmed in the city of Rio de Janeiro and/or surrounding areas.

To be directed by Bill Condon, who showed up at the Rio Film Festival last week, and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, the suspense about filming (or not) Edward and Bella’s honeymoon in Brazil has been going on for a number of weeks.

According to Leitão, Condon is “eager to film here.” But ultimately, of course, it’s all up to the powers-that-be at Summit Entertainment.

The latest location mentioned as a possibility for Isle Esme – where Bella discovers she’s pregnant and a spooked-out half-Indian Amazonian comes up with tales of death and libishomem – is the small colonial town of Paraty [pronounced Pah-rah-CHEE], located 240 kilometers from Rio, along what some refer to as the Brazilian Riviera.

How exactly Paraty would fit with Stephenie Meyer’s story is unclear, as Island Esme is supposed to be just that: a tiny tropical islet on which was built a good-sized home. But then again, there are tropical islets all over the Rio State coast, so that may be what’s being discussed here.

As quoted on, Leitão affirmed that “first of all, we need to know how much the production will spend in the city of Rio de Janeiro because then I’ll know how much I’d bring to the city for each real [that’s the Brazilian currency] we invest on the film. The ratio must be worthwhile. Second, I figure out how many jobs will be created. And third, we have to take a look at a draft of the screenplay, for we’re not going to invest, for instance, on a movie such as Tourists (a 2006 production that showed Brazilians as cruel murderers of innocent Americans).”

Leitão added that “we need not only financial returns, but also promotional returns for the city,” going on to explain that Rio would be like a product to be sold, as movies shot there would offer “product placements” of the city by way of “postcards shots.”

Once again, how that would fit with Meyer’s Breaking Dawn is unclear, unless screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg expands Edward and Bella’s passage through Rio on their way to Isle Esme, which lasts all of a paragraph or two in the book.

Oct. 1: Below is a letter written by Bill Condon – or by a Summit Entertainment publicist, but signed by Condon – in which it’s explained that the Stephenie Meyer’s characters and situations found in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn will be handled by some of the topmost professionals in the film business.

Among those working behind the camera will be cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, production designer Richard Sherman, costume designer Michael Wilkinson, visual effects supervisor John Bruno, and make-up artists Jean Black.

The Bill Condon letter was posted on the Twilight Saga‘s Facebook page.

Hello fans!

Has it really been five months (and a day) since my last dispatch?  In my defense, they’ve been five months spent immersed in the world of TWILIGHT – something I’m sure you can all appreciate.  We’re in the thick of pre-production now, juggling everything from casting to storyboarding to location scouting, getting it all ready to go, but I do want to take a moment to announce to you exclusively a few of the amazing production team members who are hard at work alongside me, bringing these movies to life.  I hope you’ll be as excited about them as I am:

Guillermo Navarro, who won an Academy Award for the beautiful PAN’S LABYRINTH, is our cinematographer.  Guillermo and I have been painstakingly planning each shot, with a team of very talented storyboard artists.

Michael Wilkinson, our costume designer, is bringing his brilliant vision to the styles of all your favorite characters. Michael’s created fantastic looks for 300, WATCHMEN, and the upcoming TRON: LEGACY – just wait ’til you see his take on the vampire witnesses who come to Forks from around the globe.

Jean Black, our make-up designer, has worked extensively with the Coen Brothers and David Fincher, most recently making exquisite, award-winning contributions to THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON.  I’m honored to be working with her.

Richard Sherman, with whom I made GODS AND MONSTERS and KINSEY, is on-board as our production designer.  Richard’s one of my oldest collaborators and a terrific designer, and you may be interested to know that he also happens to be a lifelong vampire aficionado.

Our Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor John Bruno has been responsible for some of the most memorable special effects ever, with his groundbreaking work on display in everything from POLTERGEIST to AVATAR.  He and his team are working intensely to develop solutions to the host of special effects challenges that Stephenie created for us in BREAKING DAWN, including that remarkable kid…

Wonderful, imaginative people all and very exciting, intense times for us.  Even with the months of work we’ve already put in, we’re barely underway on the journey, and I do hope to get back to you much sooner next time with more news. Until then, thanks for your warm reception and continued support!

Very best regards,


One day after the announcement that the Denali vampire clan has been fully cast, we learn that cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (right), best known for his work for Guillermo del Toro, will be the DP on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, to be split into two parts directed by Bill Condon, and which brings back Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner.

The Mexican-born Navarro will be replacing Spaniard Javier Aguirresarobe, who shot both New Moon and Eclipse. Elliott Davis was the cinematographer on the first Twilight.

Navarro won an Academy Award for del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. His other credits include the del Toro efforts Cronos, Hellboy, The Devil’s Backbone, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, in addition to Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and Renny Harlin’s The Long Kiss Goodnight.

Navarro was slated to shoot del Toro’s The Hobbit as well, but departed the troubled project along with the director.

The Breaking Dawn crew also includes:

  • two-time Costume Designers Guild nominee Michael Wilkinson (TRON: Legacy, 300, Watchmen);
  • production designer Richard Sherman, who had previously worked with Bill Condon on Kinsey and Gods and Monsters;
  • make up artist Jean Black, who’ll put her The Curious Case of Benjamin Button expertise to work on Renesmee’s accelerated aging;
  • and Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor John Bruno (Avatar, Poltergeist), who’ll also get to work on Renesmee, among other assorted supernatural characters.

Production on Breaking Dawn is scheduled to begin in early November.

Breaking Dawn is next

The fourth installment of the Twilight Saga franchise, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – to be split into two parts – is currently being shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Bill Condon is directing, while Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner are all reprising their roles.

Other Breaking Dawn – Part 1 cast members include:

Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Reaser, Peter Facinelli, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Ashley Greene, Michael Sheen, Maggie Grace, Casey LaBow, MyAnna Buring, Booboo Stewart, Sarah Clarke, Michael Welch, Billy Burke, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jamie Campbell Bower, Christian Camargo, Christian Serratos, and Alex Rice.

Also: Kiowa Gordon, Tyson Houseman, Chaske Spencer, Bronson Pelletier, Tinsel Korey, Sebastião Lemos, Carolina Virguez, Gil Birmingham, Mia Maestro, Alex Meraz, Sienna Joseph, Mackenzie Foy, Charlie Bewley, Daniel Cudmore, Christie Burke, Julia Jones, Tanaya Beatty, Justin Chon, Ty Olsson, and Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, 2009).

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Dakota Fanning The Twilight Saga: Eclipse movie images: Kimberley French | Summit Entertainment.

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1 comment

KStewNation -

Summit has made around $2 billion off of movie and DVD sales alone. The cable deal with Showtime and merchandising were also said to be big. It’s over time that they put some effort and money into these things. Hiring a good team of specialists is the way to go. K-Stew’s wedding dress and vampire look are my biggest worries. Also want her in a bikini in Brazil.


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