So The Hollywood Reporter just did a bit of number-crunching, and have pronounced that since Twilight first hit theaters in November of 2008, Hollywood has already grossed a staggering $7 billion from vampire-related properties, with worldwide box-office grosses accounting for $3 billion of that total. This might not seem like such a seismic cultural phenomenon when you consider that films about humans have domestically grossed nearly $20 billion in that same time period, but the breadth of our obsession with vampires is what puts those undead blood-suckers in a league of their own.
Despite the fact that vampires wantonly feast on the blood of the innocent, Americans young and old can’t help but invite this latest wave of folkloric parasites into their homes and hearts. Teenage girls across the country are tearing Justin Bieber off their walls in favor of giant Max Schreck posters, and you’re unlikely to find an adult who can’t quote Park Chan-Wook’s Thirst from start to finish and in Korean. …No? Okay, so maybe the financial figures are just more evidence that the True Blood and Twilight franchises are both wildly popular, but with the effortless parody Vampires Suck almost out-grossing the deservedly ballyhooed likes of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and the final two Twilight films on the horizon, it’s time to concede that the $7 billion barrier actually means something beyond confirming the prevailing obsessions of our day? Could seeing a vampire in a film become as ordinary as seeing a kid in a film, or a Samuel L. Jackson?
In short – I doubt it. Vampires were around before we got here and they’ll be here long after we’re gone (they’re immortal, you know), their longevity is a result of the extent to which they tap directly into our greatest shared desires, and they’re as narratively versatile as mythological creatures get. But this is a phenomenon, and the blockbuster content will dry up. The Harry Potter films have collectively grossed $5.5 billion thus far, and though they’ll continue to inform the adventure fare Hollywood churns out, I don’t expect to see a glut of films about boy wizards in the wake of The Deathly Hallows (I do, however, expect to see a glut of films about endless camping trips).
With studios already gearing up for projects such as The Passage, Dracula Year Zero, and Castlevania, Hollywood is obviously going to ride this money train and keep blood-suckers in theaters for as long as the trend holds (insert joke about AMC doing their part with bedbugs, here), but the poor performance of films like Daybreakers and The Vampire’s Assistant suggests that fangs aren’t enough to guarantee success, and that lust and branding still trump subject. I’ve yet to be shown any definitive correlation between the respective successes of Twilight and True Blood beyond the fact that the former probably proved to HBO that a “genre” show was worth a shot – the rest can largely be attributed to fit naked people doing bad, bad things to each other. So Hollywood will read as much into those $7 billion as they can because they have nothing else to go by, and vampire projects will be greenlit that might not have been otherwise, but all that number really tells me is that Hollywood does itself a favor by respectfully acknowledging that the stuff of B-movies can also be the stuff of A-money.
Besides, everyone knows that there can never be a greater vampire film than the legendary Nicolas Cage vehicle, Vampire’s Kiss. Take a deep breath, accept that your life is about to be forever changed, and observe:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – With last year’s surprise box office smash hit “Twilight,” Catherine Hardwicke had the biggest U.S. opening weekend ever, $69.6 million, for a female director of a Hollywood movie.
Among her follow-up projects, she has been picked to reteam with her “Lords of Dogtown” star Emile Hirsch on what has been called a supernatural version of “Hamlet” at a liberal arts college. It is being developed by Overture Films.
Hardwicke, whose other films include teen coming of age tale “Thirteen” and biblical drama “The Nativity Story” spoke to Reuters about connecting with teenagers and life after “Twilight.”
Q: Your previous films centered on vampires, skateboarders, biblical figures and students. The common denominator is the main characters are all teenagers. Why is that?
A: “It’s definitely a time in everybody’s life that’s extremely memorable, painful and exiting. It’s one of our most dramatic times where we suddenly grow breasts or hair on our chest. We are able to kiss a boy or a girl and drive a car, drink and figure out who we are as a person and where we fit in the world. Great dramatic material happens in a coming of age story and there are so many possibilities. Plus teenagers are also the people who will actually get up off their couches and go to a movie theater.”
Q: You obviously have a knack for dealing with teens.
A: “I respect all the teenagers I work with and feel that everything they have to say is just as valuable as anything I have to say. My first movie was written with a 13-year-old girl (Nikki Reed on “Thirteen”). It was about her life so she knew more about that than I did. We can learn from everybody.”
Q: You must become like a surrogate mother to them, no
A: “Well Nikki is kind of like my fake adopted daughter and so is Sarah Blakely-Cartwright, who is in all my movies in smaller parts. When they were teenagers, they’d hang out with me, we’d do slumber parties and surf camps. One of my nephews lives with me in one of my back (apartment) units right now and my nieces lived there too. I always say, “Whoever needs a place can come stay with me.’ I like the open door policy.
Q: Are you like a big kid yourself?
A: “I hope I haven’t grown up. The cliche for all artists is that you don’t want to lose that child inside. I think when you get sedentary and set in your ways you can lose a lot of that spontaneity and creativity. I hope I’m holding on to that. I live in (Los Angeles beachside community) Venice, I surf on the weekends, I ride my bike and try to be in an active world where people around me are of all ages and all economic levels.”
Q: “Twilight” cost $37 million and made nearly $382 million worldwide. Do you feel pressure to top yourself?
A: “I don’t think that’s possible, and I don’t think that’s a healthy way to think. “Twilight” was a phenomenon — the stars just aligned on that film. Thank God (director) Ridley Scott didn’t stop after “Blade Runner.” He made “Thelma and Louise” and “Gladiator” and a million other interesting movies. I still want to make other good films that won’t lose money.”
Q: Do you have a process you go by when it comes to developing projects?
A: “I’ll literally pay three Hollywood readers who don’t know me to read my scripts under the radar and give cold comments. And at the early screenings of my movies, I’ll hand out questionnaires that can be filled out anonymously so people can be brutally honest because to your face they won’t be. I’ll take the papers home, read them by myself, cry and go ‘My God, that was the coolest scene and everybody hates it!’ But that’s fine because my goal is to always make it better.”
Q: How have things changed for you since “Twilight”
A: “Right now I can say in a meeting: ‘Well on ‘Twilight’ this is how we did it and this is how we made it work.’ And people go, ‘Oh wow, that movie made money.’ They listen to me a little bit more than before.”
By now, we’ve all had time to watch (and rewatch, analyze, and then rewatch again) the New Moon trailer that debuted during the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Even though it was under two minutes long, it certainly gave us a lot to sink our teeth into, including our first glimpse of Jacob’s transformation into a wolf (not to mention Taylor Lautner’s sudden transformation into a heartthrob!)
So what did you think? Judging by the new trailer, are you expecting the sequel to sparkle as bright as the original movie, or is it already in the doghouse? Let us know you opinion.
Bringing a semblance of dignity to the Twilight film series, award-winning British actor Michael Sheen has joined the cast of the currently shooting second movie in the franchise, The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
Variety has the report on the casting of the Frost/Nixon actor. Sheen also has appeared in The Queen, Blood Diamond and of course the Underworld series. He played a werewolf in the latter films, though in the case of New Moon he’ll be appearing as the leader of the Volturi, those ancient Italian vampires from Stephenie Meyer’s hugely popular books.
New Moon focuses on the series’ heroine Bella as she’s “drawn into the world of werewolves while threatened by the Volturi.” Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson will once again star in the film as, respectively, Bella and Edward, her vampire lover.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon hits theaters on November 20th.
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Bella Swan has always been a little bit different. Never one to run with the crowd, Bella never cared about fitting in with the trendy, plastic girls at her Phoenix, Arizona, high school. When her mother remarried and sent Bella to live with her father in the rainy little town of Forks, Washington, she didn’t expect much of anything to change. But things do change when she meets the mysterious and dazzlingly beautiful Edward Cullen. He’s nothing like anyone she’s ever met. He’s intelligent and witty, and he seems to see straight into her soul. In no time at all, they are swept up in a passionate and decidely unorthodox romance – unorthodox because Edward really isn’t like the other boys. He can run faster than a mountain lion. He can stop a moving car with his bare hands. Oh, and he hasn’t aged since 1918. Like all vampires, he’s immortal. That’s right – VAMPIRE. But he doesn’t have fangs – that’s just in the movies. And he doesn’t drink human blood, though Edward and his family are unique among vampires in that lifestyle choice. To Edward, Bella is that thing he has waited 90 years for – a soul mate. But the closer they get, the more Edward must struggle to resist the primal pull of her scent, which could send him into an uncontrollable frenzy. And what will they do when Laurent and James, the Cullens’ mortal vampire enemies, come to town, looking for Bella?
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli; Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Charismatic professor DAVID KEPESH (Ben Kingsley) glories in the pursuit of adventurous female students but never lets any woman get too close. When gorgeous CONSUELA CASTILLO (Penélope Cruz) enters his classroom, however, his protective veneer dissolves. Her raven-haired beauty both captivates and unsettles him.
Even if Kepesh declares her body a perfect work of art, Consuela is more than an object of desire. She has a strong sense of herself and an emotional intensity that challenges his preconceptions. Kepesh’s need for Consuela becomes an obsession, but ultimately his jealous fantasies of betrayal drive her away.
Shattered, Kepesh faces up to the ravages of time, immersing himself in work and confronting the loss of old friends. Then, two years later, Consuela comes back into his life with an urgent, desperate request that will change everything.
Waging his one-man war on the world of organized crime, ruthless vigilante-hero Frank Castle sets his sights on overeager mob boss Billy Russoti. After Russoti is left horribly disfigured by Castle, he sets out for vengeance under his new alias: Jigsaw. With the “Punisher Task Force” hot on his trail and the FBI unable to take Jigsaw in, Frank must stand up to the formidable army that Jigsaw has recruited before more of his evil deeds go unpunished.
New film will be set in New York, where Castle runs up against a mobster. Ray Stevenson takes over the Castle roll from Thomas Jane.
New project will mark the third screen incarnation for “The Punisher,” which originated in a comic book about Frank Castle, a Marine-turned-vigilante who is driven by a desire to avenge the murder of his family after they witness a gangland killing.
Property was turned into a 1989 film that starred Dolph Lundgren and then into a 2004 pic that starred Thomas Jane.
Kristen Stewart is busy these days. She is currently starring in the blockbuster hit, “Twilight” and is now set to “portray Joan Jett in the rock ‘n’ roll biopic” The Runaways.
The Runaways were hugely influential as the first commercially successful all-girl hard rock band; their members included guitarists Jett and Lita Ford, drummer Sandy West, singer-keyboardist Cherie Currie and bassist Jackie Fox. The band was brought together in late 1975 by impresario Kim Fowley, who thought a novelty act of teenage girls performing in leather and lace would be an easy sell. But the girls proved to be serious and influential musicians with songs like “Cherry Bomb.” The band lasted about four years, falling apart over management and money issues.
Jett continued her rock career into the ’80s, forming the Blackhearts and scoring with such hits as “I Love Rock N’ Roll” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” She continues to record and tour.
The film will revolve around Jett and Currie and follow them from the band’s meteoric rise as teenagers to their dissolution and disillusionment.
Video director Floria Sigismondi wrote the screenplay and is directing. Jett will serve as an executive producer.
The filmmakers are eyeing a 2009 start and will work around Stewart’s commitments to the two “Twilight” sequels. The first, “New Moon,” is expected to shoot in first-quarter 2009, with Stewart reprising her role as Bella, the human who falls for a vampire.
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It’s official! Summit Entertainment has announced that the studio will be going forward with New Moon Rising, the sequel to Twilight.
Summit Entertainment announced Saturday that the studio is officially moving forward with the production of New Moon, the second installment of its filmed franchise Twilight, the action-packed, modern day vampire love story. The movie will be based on the second novel in author Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series titled, New Moon. The first movie in the Twilight franchise, the self-titled Twilight, arrived in theaters this weekend to sold-out showings.
Stephenie Meyer stated, “I don’t think any other author has had a more positive experience with the makers of her movie adaptation than I have had with Summit Entertainment. I’m thrilled to have the chance to work with them again on New Moon.”
Starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, Twilight tells the story of 17-year-old Bella Swan who moves to the small town of Forks, Washington to live with her father, and becomes drawn to Edward Cullen, a pale, mysterious classmate who seems determined to push her away.
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Check out this Twilight, video interview with IGN’s Todd Gilchrist and Eric Morrow
Twilight is an action-packed, modern-day love story between a teenage girl and a vampire. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has always been a little bit different, never caring about fitting in with the trendy girls at her Phoenix high school. When her mother re-marries and sends Bella to live with her father in the rainy little town of Forks, Washington, she doesn’t expect much of anything to change. Then she meets the mysterious and dazzlingly beautiful Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), a boy unlike any she’s ever met. Edward is a vampire, but he doesn’t have fangs and his family is unique in that they choose not to drink human blood. Intelligent and witty, Edward sees straight into Bella’s soul. Soon, they are swept up in a passionate, thrilling and unorthodox romance. To Edward, Bella is what he has waited 90 years for -– a soul mate. But the closer they get, the more Edward must struggle to resist the primal pull of her scent, which could send him into an uncontrollable frenzy. But what will Edward & Bella do when a clan of new vampires -– James (Cam Gigandet), Laurent (Edi Gathegi) and Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre) -– come to town and threaten to disrupt their way of life?
Just jump right in and read the the review for the upcoming, Twilight.
According to my girlfriend – who has become obsessed with the series after reading all of the books in record time – Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight is all about adolescent feelings and romantic longing with a little bit of vampirism thrown in to make the proceedings more fanciful. Given the glut of male wish-fulfillment that typically occupies the silver screen, there’s certainly nothing wrong with any of those elements. Interestingly, however, Catherine Hardwicke’s adaptation of the acclaimed first novel actually works best when it’s indulging those thoughts and feelings most, producing an adaptation that’s introspective and romantic enough to satisfy the franchise’s diehard fans even if its clumsy execution is likely to distract those not already fully devoted to its combination of vampire mythology and teenage female melancholy.
Kristen Stewart (Into the Wild) plays Bella Swan, an introverted 17-year old who relocates to Forks, Washington after her mom Renee (Sarah Clarke) leaves their Phoenix home to be with her new husband. Moving in with her dad Charlie (Billy Burke), Bella slowly adjusts to a new school and a new life, developing a tight-knit group of friends despite her inescapable self-consciousness and physical awkwardness. But when she meets Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), she becomes fascinated by his elusive presence in the lunchroom, and eventually, next to her in class. As the two of them begin a tenuous courtship, Bella discovers the reason for his mysterious, withdrawn disposition: Edward and the rest of his family are vampires, although they feed only on animals for sustenance. Their openness with one another soon blossoms into a passionate romance, but a vampire named James (Cam Gigandet) sets his sights on Bella, culminating in a battle that forces the couple to confront not only the immediate danger, but the ultimate meaning of their love for one another.
Superficially, the prospect of watching a movie that focuses on how awkward teenage girls feel sounds like some sort of Saw-style psychological trap – one to make me appreciate how good my life is or at least appreciate that the majority of movies these days seem to focus mostly on blowing stuff up. But Hardwicke, whose directorial debut Thirteen (and to a lesser extent its follow-up, Lords of Dogtown) suggests she believes most teenagers are vile, sex-addicted drug addicts, crafts a believable and incredibly sympathetic portrait of teen angst which – bloodsucking melodrama aside – should resonate with viewers of all ages, much less genders. That Bella’s constant stream of doubt, insecurities and second guesses always feels palpable and authentic is not merely a testament to Stewart’s masterfully subtle performance but the source material and the script’s ability to truly deconstruct that impassioned, unfocused but undeniable mindset.
Click on the link below to read the entire review: