This year’s San Diego Comic Con looks to feature two truly huge events – the panel for New Moon and another for James Cameron’s Avatar.
Last year, the Twilight panel was such a big event that fans queued the day before to get into the legendarily busy Hall H and the screams for the cast members raised the roof.
The reaction was so big that organisers have now shifted the timing of the Avatar panel so that Twilighters (Twi-hards? Twiglets?) don’t camp out and stop Cameron fanatics getting in to see the first footage from the movie.
With that in mind, we decided to combine the two and see what Twilight would be like if James Cameron got a shot at making it…
The Original: Bella Swan arrives in Forks, Washington to begin a new life with her father so that her mother can travel with her baseball-playing hubby.
She meets old friend Jacob Black and tries to fit in at her new school.
At the same time, we see the Cullen Clan – including Edward – hunting a deer.
JC Comment: “This is no way to introduce your characters!”
The James Cameron Version: Guns N Roses music plays on a boombox as Bella arrives at her new school.
Realising she’s left her lunchbox at home, and that she doesn’t have any lunch money, she goes to the nearest ATM, hooks it up to a laptop, types in some random numbers and watches as it spits out dollar bills.
This shows us she’s independent, intelligent and a bit edgy.
Meanwhile, Edward is in the woods, standing in front of a deer.
“Give me your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle,” Edward says.
The deer looks at him, perplexed, before running off into a clearing. Edward frowns, snaps off a branch from a nearby tree and speed-walks after the deer.
Next: The First Meeting
The Original: Bella and Edward have the traditional “meet-cute”, or, in Twilight’s case, “meet-strained-and-awkward” as Edward arrives in Bella’s class and immediately starts smelling her blood like a randy puppy smelling another dog’s bum.
Unable to control his rising feelings of A) lust B) love and C) hunger, Edward flees, leaving Bella to wonder just why the weirdoes must always sit near her.
JC Comment: “I don’t buy it for a minute. It needs something to increase the intensity.”
The James Cameron Version: Bella is trying to settle into class when Edward arrives. Inspired by the new arrival, their teacher asks Edward if he has any special talents to show his new classmates.
Edward withdraws a huge hunting knife and proceeds to stab between Bella’s fingers with lightning-fast speed.
When he accidentally nicks her middle finger and proceeds to suck the wound dry, before throwing up and running out of class, Bella still wonders why the weirdoes must always sit next to her.
Next: The Van Danger
The Original: Bella is standing in the school parking lot, seemingly oblivious to the world around her thanks to her iPod and her obsession with Edward.
She doesn’t notice a van that has skidded out of control and is roaring towards her.
With his lightning-fast undead responses, Edward sweeps across the lot, crouches in front of her and stops the van with one hand, denting the surface.
JC Comment: “The actual stunt with Bella and Edward is kind of cool, but it could be bigger. Much bigger.”
The James Cameron Version: A van is speeding towards Bella. Edward screeches into view on a massive Harley. He’s twirling a stake round and round in one hand, no-one knows why.
He outruns the van, swoops Bella off her feet and plonks her behind him on the bike.
Then, still driving, he turns and chucks the stake at the van. It smashes through the windscreen, and the van veers out of control, hitting a wall and exploding.
Edward stops the motorcycle, but never takes his eyes of the wreckage. Something starts to move towards him, and Edward pulls out another stake.
But it’s only a wheel. How did Edward ever think that a wheel was a person or a vampire or whatever? Edward puts the stake back in his pocket.
“I love you Edward,” says Bella.
“I know now why you cry,” Edward replies. They speed off into the sunset.
Next: The Tree Date
The Original: Bella and Edward go for a flit through the woods, with him leaping from tree to tree and her breathless on his back.
They end up at a wooded glade, whereupon Bella truly discovers what Edward is and that, unlike the stinky usual vampires, he doesn’t burst into flame in sunlight, he just glitters like a gemstone.
JC Comment: “This scene is nowhere near groundbreaking enough!”
The James Cameron Version: Bella and Edward are in the trees.
Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Edward starts banging on about how important the massive oaks are, and how we should look after nature and how, really, when you think about it, human beings are the real monsters.
Realising he’s boring Bella, Edward decides to impress her by running really fast through the trees like a Na’vi might. The shot cuts to a first person perspective view of Edward jumping from branch to branch really quickly.
This scene all happens in fully immersive 3D, which makes you feel like you’re watching a dream. The sort of dream you don’t really remember when you wake up.
Edward and Bella are replaced by CGI versions of themselves, but no-one notices because that’s how good the special effects are.
Next: The Werewolf History
The Original: Bella visits the La Push reservation with her mates, Jacob and two boys from his tribe.
When Bella hears the Quileute lads slagging off Edward, she asks what the problem is and they explain the tortured history between their wolf-descended tribe and the Cullen clan.
JC Comment: “Not bad, but I think more can be made of the flashback.”
The James Cameron Version: We cut to a post-apocalyptic landscape. A gang of werewolves appear at the top of a hill which is covered in human skulls. It’s really dark, but searchlights are coming from somewhere.
Eerie music that sounds like a giant metal whale shrugging its shoulders plays in the background and everything is really atmospheric.
Suddenly, we cut to a close-up of a human skull. A big hairy foot smashes down on it, crunching it into cats’ teeth.
We quickly cut to a reveal of the Cullens, hiding behind a wrecked car.
“It’s now or never,” Edward says. He’s got a massive scar running down his face that’ll probably heal up at some point.
“Let’s do this,” Charlie Cullen says, and the brothers run out from their hiding place, straight towards the werewolves...
Next: James And Co Stalk Bella
The Original: Edward invites Bella to hang out with the Cullens during one of their basketball games.
The vampires show off their superhuman leaping and speed skills while sinking baskets until evil vampire James – alongside cohorts Victoria and Laurent – show up to spoil their fun and threaten Bella.
The Cullens and James’ gang have a snarly standoff, but eventually Carlisle Cullen orders the villains to leave. They do, but promise to hunt Bella.
JC Comment: “Boooring. I can see scope for at least one more set piece here.”
The James Cameron Version: A close-up of a basketball that has just been thrown high into the air.
Suddenly, a gunshot rings out and pierces the basketball, which plops to the ground, at Edward’s feet. We pan up from the ground onto Edward’s annoyed face.
We cut to James, who’s holding a smoking Desert Eagle. We cut back to Edward. He pulls out his gun.
“No Edward,” Bella screams. “You promised you wouldn’t kill anybody!”
Edward turns to Bella, “Trust me,” he says.
He turns back to James and his mates, and proceeds to shoot them all in their legs.
No-one dies, but everyone is really annoyed, and they promise to hunt Bella, before dragging themselves off into the woods, slowly.
Next: The Final Fight
The Original: Bella, fearing for her life from nasty human-hunting vampire James, flees to Phoenix.
But James is too smart for her, and lures her into a trap at, um, a ballet school, by claiming he has her mother hostage.
He attacks Bella, and bites her wrist, but Edward and his family arrive to save her in the nick of time.
JC Comment: “Okay, that’s total BS. I don’t buy that this headstrong, independent girl would suddenly get that stupid and that weak. I’m going to switch it up.”
The James Cameron Version: Bella travels to Phoenix, but along the way she gets training from some desert militia who buff her into perfectly muscled action-girl status and train her to use every gun ever invented.
When James shows up, Bella blasts him into vamp-ashes with a chain gun. Edward arrives and Bella slings him over her shoulder to take him to prom, which she attends in a ratty vest top and combat troos.
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