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.
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.
Click on the link below to read the entire article:
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.
Click on the link below to read the entire article:
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:
Canada.com has this indepth interview with Robert Pattinson who plays the gorgeous vampire, Edward Cullen the upcoming Twilight.
Chances are someone in your life is in love with Edward Cullen. It may be your daughter. It could be your tween niece. Perhaps it’s your 50-something coworker. It seems women of all ages are besotted by the fictional hero of Stephenie Meyer’s blockbuster young adult book series, which makes the leap to the big screen this Friday when Twilight opens in theatres.
Not that Edward is your typical teen movie hero. As a 107-year-old vampire, he’s unfailingly polite, resolutely chaste and the picture of chiseled perfection. But in his quest to woo Bella Swan, an ordinary teenage girl, Edward also exhibits a dark side rarely seen in films aimed at the under-18 set. He can be jealous and moody, he sneaks into her room at night to watch her sleep and, oh yeah, he’s constantly fighting his nearly irresistible urge to drain her blood. In other words, he’s no Zac Efron.
“No one seems to see that,” says 22-year-old British actor Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward in the film. “If Edward was not a fictional character and you just met him in reality, you know, he’s one of those guys who’d be like an axe murderer. He’s ultra-polite and really formal all the time and like, ‘Let me open the door! Let me carry the bags!'”
Pattinson shakes his head, adding with a laugh, “Literally, you can just tell he’d freak out one day and shoot someone.”
While the actor is surprised by teen girls’ idolization of his character, he’s downright bewildered when it comes to their obsession with him. Almost overnight, the lanky actor has gone from being known only for playing a minor character in the Harry Potter films to Hollywood’s hottest heartthrob. Though his co-star, Kristen Stewart, is getting some attention for her role as Bella, most of the Twilight fan frenzy has landed squarely on Pattinson’s reluctant shoulders. Last week, an autograph signing at a San Francisco mall was cancelled when the out-of-control crowd left at least one youngster bruised and bloodied, while a recent cast appearance at MuchMusic quickly dissolved into fandemonium, with Pattinson’s soft-spoken answers drowned out by the high-pitched sequels of 2000 girls, some of whom camped out for two days just to catch a glimpse of him.
“I don’t really process it; I just accept it,” he admits from the safe confines of a downtown Toronto hotel hours before the MuchMusic mayhem. “Well, now I do. Before I used to get all overwhelmed and kind of like emotional about it and everything and now I’m just like, I just have a very strange job where I just get put on a plane, sent to somewhere and everyone screams and then I go somewhere else and do it again.”
That’s not to say he’s fully comfortable with his new status as a teen pinup. He readily admits to being astounded at landing the role of Edward – who Meyer describes in the book as “devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful” – and claims he’s too self-conscious to watch himself on film. He’s especially mortified by the thought of seeing Twilight’s pivotal romance scene, in which Edward reveals his immortal secret to Bella by stepping out from the shadows into a sun-drenched meadow to expose his inhuman, sparkly skin.
“That whole scene…just having to take your shirt off for a guy when you’re not exactly like a gym bunny, especially when you’re supposed to be, it was one of the most embarrassing days of my life,” he admits with a cringe, raking his fingers through his trademark messy hair. “So I don’t want to see it. Unless I’m just literally like, you can’t even recognize me as a human, then I don’t want to see it.”
It’s that kind of self-deprecating shyness that makes it easy to understand the attraction he holds for teenage girls. But it’s Pattinson’s insistence on adding depth and layers to the source material – which, no offense to Meyer, is a highly entertaining series that amounts to little more than literary junk food – that is casting a spell on older fans. Much has been made about his clash with the movie studio over his desire to play Edward as a manic depressive, and he openly talks about his determination to steer the film out of fairy tale territory (“I tried to make the end of this more ambivalent but I think people wanted more of a happy ending”). Pattinson admits that he even locked horns with the author herself when they first began discussing his approach to the character.
“[Stephenie] was saying that he was happier than I thought he was and he enjoyed certain aspects of his supernatural abilities, and I just thought he wouldn’t at all,” he explains. “I was just thinking how much, if I was in his position, I’d just think ‘Wow, I can jump really high. Great. But I have to kill people in return.’ But you know, I can see where she was coming from. It’s her creation at the end of the day.”
It will be interesting to see how Pattinson’s commitment to his character’s integrity will come into play if the film spawns sequels (which, judging by Twilight’s brisk ticket pre-sales and inescapable media hype, is almost a sure thing). In the next book in the series, New Moon, Edward (spoiler alert!) leaves Bella a few chapters in, and doesn’t return until near the end. But will the studio – knowing they have in Pattinson teen girl catnip – allow his character to disappear for more than half of the film, or will New Moon be re-jigged to give the audience a glimpse at what Edward was up to on his world travels?
“Oh no, I hope not. I really, really hope not,” Pattinson says with a shudder. “That re-entrance scene, the comeback scene could be really amazing if they just left it the whole time. I haven’t seen the new script, but that’d be silly if they put in little vignettes [about Edward's whereabouts].”
A Twilight sequel that doesn’t prominently feature Edward Cullen and/or Robert Pattinson? Now that’ll give the girls something to scream about.
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