The Twilight Saga

The Twilight Saga is a series of five romance fantasy films from Summit Entertainment based on the four novels by the American author Stephenie Meyer. The films star Kristen Stewart,Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner. The series has grossed over $3.3 billion in worldwide receipts and consists, to date, of five motion pictures. The first installment,Twilight, was released on November 21, 2008.The second installment,New Moon, followed on November 20, 2009, breaking box office records as the biggest midnight screening and opening day in history, grossing an estimated $72.7 million.The third installment,Eclipse, was released on June 30, 2010,and was the first Twilight film to be released in IMAX.

The series was in development since 2004 at Paramount Pictures, during which time a screen adaptation of Twilight that differed significantly from the novel was written.Three years later,Summit Entertainment acquired the rights to the film. After Twilight grossed $35.7 million on its opening day,Summit Entertainment announced they would begin production on New Moon; they had acquired the rights to the remaining novels earlier that same month.A two-part adaptation of Breaking Dawn began shooting in November 2010 with November 18, 2011, and November 16, 2012, release dates.


Twilight was in development for approximately three years at Paramount Pictures's MTV Films, during which time a screen adaptation differing significantly from the novel was written.For example, the script transformed Bella into a star athlete.Stephenie Meyer stated that there was some debate in allowing the movie to be made because of the negative or positive outcome of the movie compared to the book, '"They could have put that [earlier] movie out, called it something else, and no one would have known it was Twilight!" The idea of seeing a scene converted correctly, specifically the meadow scene, convinced Meyer to sell the rights. In seeing the script, she was frightened that she had made the wrong decision. When Summit Entertainment reinvented itself as a full-service studio in April 2007, it successfully acquired the rights to the novel. Erik Feig, President of Production at Summit Entertainment, guaranteed a close adaptation to the book.The company perceived the film as an opportunity to launch a franchise based on the success of Meyer's book and its sequels.Meyer felt that Summit was open to letting her be a part of the film.Catherine Hardwicke was hired to direct the film, and soon afterward, Melissa Rosenberg was selected to be the film's structural base as the writer of the film.

Rosenberg developed an outline by the end of August and collaborated with Hardwicke on writing the screenplay during the following month. "[She] was a great sounding board and had all sorts of brilliant ideas.... I'd finish off scenes and send them to her, and get back her notes."Because of the impending WGA strike, Rosenberg worked full-time to finish the screenplay before October 31.In adapting the novel for the screen, she "had to condense a great deal." Some characters were left out, and others were combined."Our intent all along was to stay true to the book," Rosenberg explained, "and it has to do less with adapting it word for word and more with making sure the characters' arcs and emotional journeys are the same." Hardwicke suggested the use of voice overto convey the protagonist's internal dialogue,since the novel is told from Bella's point of view; and she sketched some of the storyboards during pre-production.

Meyer, the author, and Hardwicke, the director, had a close relationship while developingTwilight. Hardwicke wanted to embrace the experience and make the characters in the books come to life. She would call Meyer after changing a scene slightly, which surprised the author because, "I've heard the stories...I know it's not normally like that when you adapt a book." Meyer, a natural pessimist, was waiting for the worst but, instead, called her experience in the book's film adaptation "the best I could have hoped for."

Originally scheduled for release in December 2008,Twilightwas moved to a worldwide release of November 21, 2008, after Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Princemoved from a November 2008 release to being released in July 2009.


Kristen Stewartwas on the set of Adventureland when Hardwicke visited her for an informal screen test, which "captivated" the director.Hardwicke did not initially choose Robert Pattinson for the role of Edward Cullen; but, after an audition at her home with Stewart, he was selected.Meyer allowed Pattinson to view a manuscript of the unfinished Midnight Sun, which chronicles the events inTwilight from Edward's point of view. Meyer was "excited" and "ecstatic" in response to the casting of the two main characters.She had expressed interest in having Emily Browning and Henry Cavill cast as Bella and Edward, respectively, prior to pre-production.

(Left to right) Director Chris Weitz, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson attending the photocall for New Moon on November 10, 2009, in Paris, France

Peter Facinelliwas not originally cast as Carlisle Cullen: "[Hardwicke] liked [him], but there was another actor that the studio was pushing for."For unknown reasons, that actor was not able to play the part, and Facinelli was selected in his place.The choice of Ashley Greene to portray Alice Cullen was criticized by some fans because Greene is 7 inches (18 cm) taller than her character as described in the novel. Meyer said that Rachael Leigh Cookresembled her vision of Alice.Nikki Reed had previously worked with Hardwicke on the successful Thirteen (2003), which they co-wrote, and Lords of Dogtown (2005).

Kellan Lutz was in Africa, shooting the HBO miniseries Generation Kill, when the auditions for the character of Emmett Cullen were conducted. The role had already been cast by the time the HBO production ended in December 2007, but the selected actor "fell through". Lutz subsequently auditioned and was flown to Oregon, where Hardwicke personally chose him.

Rachelle Lefèvre wanted a role in the film because Hardwicke was director; she saw "the potential to explore a character, hopefully, over three films"; and she wanted to portray a vampire."[She] thought that vampires were basically the best metaphor for human anxiety and questions about being alive."Christian Serratosinitially auditioned for Jessica Stanley, but she "fell totally in love with Angela" after reading the books and took advantage of a later opportunity to audition for Angela Weber.The role of Jessica Stanley went toAnna Kendrick, who got the part after two mix-and-match auditions with various actors.

Because of major physical changes that occur in the character of Jacob Black between Twilight and New Moon, director Chris Weitz considered replacing Taylor Lautnerin the sequel with an actor who could more accurately portray "the new, larger Jacob Black."Trying to keep the role, Lautner worked out extensively and put on 30 lbs.In January 2009, Weitz and Summit Entertainment announced that Lautner would continue as Jacob inThe Twilight Saga: New Moon.

When they told me Rob was probably the one, I looked him up and thought, "Yeah, he can do a version of Edward. He's definitely got that vampire thing going on." And then, when I was on set and I got to watch him go from being Rob to shifting into being Edward and he actually looked like the Edward in my head, it was a really bizarre experience. [...] He really had it nailed.

Twilight author Stephenie Meyer

In late March 2009, Summit Entertainment released a list of the actors who would be portraying the "wolf pack" alongside Lautner. The casting for the rest of the Quileute tribewas headed by casting director Rene Haynes, who has worked on films with large American Indian casts, such asDances with WolvesandBury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

In mid-2009, it was announced thatBryce Dallas Howardwould be replacingRachelle Lefevreas Victoria for the thirdTwilightfilm,The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Summit Entertainment attributed the change to scheduling conflicts. Lefevre said she was "stunned" and "greatly saddened" by the decision.Jodelle Ferlandwas cast as the newly turned vampire, Bree. Other new cast members for the third film include Xavier Samuel as Riley,Jack Hustonas Royce King II,Catalina Sandino Morenoas Maria,Julia Jones as Leah Clearwater, and BooBoo Stewart as Seth Clearwater.


Principal photography forTwilighttook 44 days, after more than a week of rehearsals,and completed on May 2, 2008.Similar to her directorial debut thirteen, Hardwicke opted for an extensive use of hand-held cinematographyto make the film "feel real".Meyer visited the production set three times, and was consulted on different aspects of the story;she also has a brief cameo in the film.To make their bodily movements more elegant, and to get used to their characters' fighting styles, the cast playing vampires participated in rehearsals with a dance choreographer and observed the physicality of different panthera.Instead of shooting at Forks High Schoolitself, scenes taking place at the school were filmed at Kalama High School and Madison High School.Other scenes were also filmed in St. Helens, Oregon,and Hardwicke conducted some reshooting in Pasadena, California, in August.

In early November 2008, Summit announced that they had obtained the rights to the remaining books in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series:New Moon,Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.On November 22, 2008, one day after the theatrical release ofTwilight, Summit confirmed that they would begin working onNew Moon.Melissa Rosenberghad been working on adapting the novel prior toTwilight's release and handed in the draft forNew MoonduringTwilight's opening weekend in November 2008.

In early December 2008, it was announced that Twilight director Catherine Hardwickewould not be returning to direct the sequel. Hardwicke cited time restrictions as the reason behind her leaving the project.Instead,Chris Weitz, director ofThe Golden Compassand co-director ofAmerican Pie, was hired to directThe Twilight Saga: New Moon.Filming for New Moon began in Vancouverin late March 2009,and in Montepulciano, Italy, in late May 2009.

In early 2009, before the release ofThe Twilight Saga: New Moon, Summit confirmed that they would begin production onThe Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Since Weitz would be in post-production forNew MoonwhenThe Twilight Saga: Eclipsebegan shooting, he would not be directing the third film.Instead,The Twilight Saga: Eclipsewas helmed by director David Slade, with Melissa Rosenbergreturning as screenwriter.Filming began on August 17, 2009 at Vancouver Film Studios and finished in late October, with post-production beginning early the following month.In April 2010, it was revealed that re-shoots of the film were needed. Slade, who previously said he would not be around for them, was seen, along with Stephenie Meyer, on set. The three main stars were also present.

Wyck Godfrey, producer of the previous films in the series, stated in mid-2009 that they had every intention to make the film version of Breaking Dawn.Following months of speculation and cast rumors,it was officially announced on April 28, 2010, that Academy Award winner Bill Condon, who directed Gods and Monsters and Dreamgirls, would direct Breaking Dawn; producing the film will be Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt, and author Stephenie Meyer. "I'm very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life on-screen. 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," said Bill Condon. A November 18, 2011 release date has been set for the first part, while the second is scheduled for release on November 16, 2012.Following that announcement, Summit officially confirmed that a two-part adaption of the fourth book would start production in the fall on June 11, 2010.With this announcement, it was made clear that all major actors, including the three lead roles, the Cullen family, and Charlie Swan, would return for both parts.Bill Condonwas also confirmed to direct both parts.

In order to keep the budget on both parts of Breaking Dawn reasonable, which would be substantially greater than the previous installments in the series, filming in Louisiana is also being negotiated. Shooting in Louisiana would provide larger tax credits, which a studio as low-profile as Summit Entertainment would benefit from.

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