6. Twilight: The Movie
Twilight’s journey to the screen began before it even came out as a novel, thanks to Paramount’s hunger for finding the next Harry Potter.
But while the studio nabbed the rights in 2004, the script it developed bore scant resemblance to Meyer’s novel and shoved Twilight into turnaround.
“They could have filmed it and not called it Twilight because it had nothing to do with the book,” Meyer said at the time.
“When Summit came into the picture, they were so open to letting us make rules for them, like, ‘Okay, Bella cannot be a track star. Bella cannot have a gun or night vision goggles. And no jet skis....’”
It was grabbed up by new studio Summit Entertainment in April 2007, with the company envisioning its own ideas for a franchise.
That summer, Catherine Hardwicke was hired to direct, while Melissa Rosenberg would write the script.
Kristen Stewart was the first person cast on the movie, with Hardwicke visiting her on the set of Adventureland, hav being “captivated” by her screen test.
With Bella in place, Hardwicke could begin the arduous slog to cast an Edward, auditioning hundreds of actors before finally settling on Brit Robert Pattinson following test scenes with Stewart.
Other actors cast included Peter Facinelli as Edward’s adoptive gather, Carlisle, Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen, Cam Gigandet as the evil James, Billy Burke as Charlie Swan, Bella’s dad and, in a role that would become more important later, Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black.
Fans reacted as they so often do when beloved books are adapted for the screen – negatively. Web boards lit up with anxious demands that most of the lead roles be re-cast.
But Hardwicke persevered and shot for 44 days in Oregon to maintain the proper setting. The actors did a lot of their own stunt work and the sets were regularly visited by uber-fans known as “Twilighters”.
Released in the US last November, Twilight was an instant hit despite dividing critics and being labelled as one strictly for fans, it has since earned nearly $400 million worldwide.
Enter New Moon…
Next: New Moon Rising...