Friday, April 30, 2010

::Team Breaking Dawn:: Bill Condon writes a note to fans on Twilight Facebook page

Greetings Twihards, Twifans, Twilight Moms, Team Edward, Team Jacob and Team Switzerland,

I just want to say hello to all of you and let you know that I'm stoked to be getting underway on the adventure of making BREAKING DAWN. As you've probably heard, I've been given a very warm welcome by Stephenie and Team Summit - who are super-focused, as you know, on getting these movies right.

I'm pretty busy bringing myself up to speed on what you already know by heart: I've read BREAKING DAWN twice, rewatched Catherine's and Chris's movies 2-3 times each, have all four CDs playing in my car, and have Catherine's notebook, Mark Cotta Vaz's companion books, and even Volume 1 of the graphic novel here on my desk - a corner of my office is starting to look like Hot Topic. I realize that this barely qualifies me for "newborn" status in the universe you've been living inside for a few years now, but a guy's gotta start somewhere.

Like many of you, I've always been slightly obsessed with vampires, dating back to the prime-time series DARK SHADOWS, which I followed avidly as a kid. But that alone hadn't been enough to get me interested in making a vampire movie, even though my early screenwriting and directing efforts grew out of a great love for horror movies and thrillers. Since making GODS AND MONSTERS thirteen years ago, however, I've been yearning for a return to a story with Gothic overtones.

The wonderful world that Stephenie has created has obviously struck a chord with you, and I don't think it's difficult to see why. For me, her characters are simultaneously timeless, yet very modern. Rooted in a beautiful, real landscape with a great sense of place, Bella, Edward, Jacob, and the rest of the Forks/La Push menagerie, experience emotions that are primal, and universal: desire, despair, jealousy - and it all comes to fruition in BREAKING DAWN. This is a final chapter in the best sense; not just wide in scope and scale, but emotionally charged and intense throughout.

I'm a huge admirer of the already-iconic Kristen, Robert, and Taylor, and wanted to be the one to work with them as they face the challenges of bringing your beloved characters to the end of their journeys. Really, what could be more fun than that?

Please feel free to ask questions in the comments section below, and I'll do my best to answer them. I hope that this will be the first of many occasions I'll get to check in with you as we set to work bringing BREAKING DAWN to the screen. I am excited and grateful to have all of you alongside me for my TWILIGHT journey.

All best,

Bill Condon

P.S. Answer #1: No, there won't be any musical numbers


Thursday, April 29, 2010

::Team Eclipse:: NEW Interview with ALL The Cullens (LA Times)

The family that slays together, stays together.

At least that's the case for the Cullen brood.

In "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," which hits theaters June 30, Seattle is ravaged by a series of killings caused by an army of newborn vampires controlled by revenge-seeking bloodsucker Victoria. To combat the threat against Bella ( Kristen Stewart) in this third installment of the franchise, the Cullens must band together and join forces with their sworn enemies, the wolf pack.

"The whole family is in a vulnerable position because of the love we have for Bella," said Elizabeth Reaser, who plays matriarch Esme Cullen. "If she's not OK, we're not OK."

In the past, we've seen the clan hit baseballs so hard that they can play only in a thunder storm, to block out the sound. And we've watched the buttoned-up human imposters welcome Bella into their home as the human girlfriend of one of their own — the handsome Edward.

"This time around, you get to see their true vampire-ness," said Peter Facinelli, who plays head vampire Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the series based on the bestselling books by Stephenie Meyer.

What can we expect from the pale-faced Cullen family (which includes the Hale siblings) this go around? Here's what the actors say audiences can expect from the story and their characters:

Facinelli: "For me, as Carlisle, it's an exciting portion of the series. Carlisle is very compassionate and he has a lot of killing to do in this movie. I joke, after he kills the bad guys, he says he's sorry in his head. And, you know, he's calm and level-headed. He's the rock of the family. He usually has a lot of information to draw from because Alice can see into the future and Edward can read minds. In this third movie, he's not getting that information. Neither one of his sources are working, so he's kind of flying blind."

Reaser: "Esme is still a vampire. She still wants to kill people all day long. It was interesting to get in touch with the vampire side of her in ways that haven't really been explored. Her family is in danger and that brings out the mama bear in her.

Ashley Greene (as Alice Cullen): "Yeah, she's delicate and prissy at times, but Alice gets a little edgier with each installment. And with these vampires messing with her family and the people she loves, you're going to see a bit of her toughness. It's a reminder to the audience that even though we restrain ourselves at times, we're still vampires and we're dangerous. You're going to see the dark, dangerous side of Alice."

Kellan Lutz (as Emmett Cullen): "You're going to see a smile on Emmett's face from start to finish. He just loves to fight. And there's a lot of fighting. He sort of plays bigger in this one than the others."

Jackson Rathbone (as Jasper Hale): "You'll get to see a little bit of the root of what makes Jasper so withdrawn and quiet in the Cullen family. Fans will get some of Jasper's back story in ‘Eclipse.' I got to wear the whole Civil War gear and everything. There's a bit of the softer and darker side of Jasper in this film."

Nikki Reed (as Rosalie Hale): "You see a reason for her attitude. I think fans will feel for her. There was a bit of that in ‘New Moon.' Fans got to see a bit of her sensitive side. Her sane side. Her logical side. And her desire to help her family. This time around, she is much more of a participant. She's a survivor. This is her family. So if protecting Bella means protecting her family, she's going to do it."

Robert Pattinson (as Edward Cullen): Snagging a phone interview with the brooding dreamboat — who was overseas shooting his latest film, "Bel Ami" — proved difficult. So what can we expect from the lovesick Edward? He promises to love Bella "every moment of forever," as the trailer reveals. He's still hesitant about her becoming a vampire. He's determined to protect her from Victoria.
And he's vying with Jacob for her affections. Oh, the life of an antique teenage vampire.

Via LA Times

::Team Eclipse:: Upcoming Magazine and TV Promos.

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and others on Oprah Winfrey airs May 13.

Robert Pattinson on Ellen airs May 19.

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Ashley Green in the April 30th issue of People.

Kristen Stewart, Nikki Reed, Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Reaser in the July issue of Vanity Fair. 

Robert Pattinson makes the Time 100 Most Influential People. Time Magazine this Sunday. 

::Team Breaking Dawn:: What Kind of Film will Bill Condon make? (LA Times)

Summit confirmed this morning that, as the rumor mill in Hollywood has been churning for weeks, "Dreamgirls" director Bill Condon will come on to direct the fourth installment in the "Twilight" franchise, no doubt prompting an unlikely spike in "Gods & Monsters" DVD sales among teenage girls. (Condon's name was first reported as a "Breaking Dawn" candidate back in March by Entertainment Weekly.)

Condon has generally been thought of as the more logical choice, at least compared to some of the other directors under consideration, like Sofia Coppola and Stephen Daldry.
In making the choice, Summit, which has gone for a different type of director for each film in the franchise, clearly wanted someone with more Oscar chops (Conon's won one and been nominated for a second). That's both because the "Breaking Dawn" material is a little more complicated than the previous books and because with the franchise already an unstoppable juggernaut, they can afford to take a risk, at least a small one.

So what kind of teen-vampire fable will the man responsible for "Dreamgirls," "Gods & Monsters" and "Kinsey" make? None of his previous directing credits are obvious analogues to this movie (though the initial frenzy over him as a candidate was a little baffling; good filmmakers reinvent themselves all the time. And it's nothing compared to Rob Marshall, another man known for musicals, taking on "Pirates of the Caribbean 4").

Each of Condon's directorial films (he also wrote "Chicago," but we'll leave that one out) contains a strand that can be put front and center in "Breaking Dawn" if the director chose (some spoilers ahead if you're not familiar with the novel).

"Dreamgirls," for all its pomp, centers on the larger world persecuting an anointed one, a neat parallel to the ordeal faced by Bella's child. It also tells a sprawling story from several perspectives, as the "Breaking Dawn" novel does.

"Monsters," which tells of the personal and creative trouble of "Bride of Frankenstein" director James Whale, could come in handy if Condon wanted to explore the demons that come from within, a plight particularly faced by Bella throughout the series.

And a "Kinsey" influence would mean the foregrounding of a misunderstood but right-minded outsider, which kind of describes all three main protagonists in the series but especially, in this book, describes Jacob, who breaks away from his family over their murderous intentions for Bella's child.

As a rule, Condon has been preoccupied with the underdog in his movies, though one who ultimately triumphs and finds vindication,  which fits nicely with the themes of "Twilight."

Still, plenty of other questions will arise as production moves forward -- namely, whether the film will shoot in 3-D, how the likely second film that will come from the "Breaking Dawn" novel will be developed, and how the timing of this one will unfold, with Summit eager to keep the momentum going but Condon, like most Oscar winners, accustomed to working at a slower pace.

In "Gods & Monsters," Condon depicted a filmmaker beset by troubles as he tried to make an expectation-laden tale of the supernatural. Here's hoping life doesn't imitate art.

--Steven Zeitchik


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

::Team Breaking Dawn:: IT'S OFFICIAL! Bill Condon to direct the finale of the saga.

After countless months of speculation regarding who would helm The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Summit Entertainment has just announced that Bill Condon (Oscar-winning director of Dreamgirls, Kinsey, and Gods And Monsters) will indeed be the director.

Erik Feig, President of Production and Acquisitions for Summit Entertainment, stated the following about the selection of Condon: "Bringing Stephenie Meyer's BREAKING DAWN to the screen requires a graceful and intelligent hand and we believe Bill Condon is exactly the right steward, having shown equal and abundant talents of immense creativity and subtle sensitivity."

Stephenie Meyer, too, positively weighed in on the choice: "I'm so thrilled that Bill wants to work with us. I think he's going to be a great fit, and I'm excited to see what he does with the material."

Finally, Bill Condon himself spoke up about being picked to helm the fourth film in the Twilight series. "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," he said.

The present status of the film is that Melissa Rosenberg is currently penning the screenplay, and Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt, and Stephenie Meyer are set as producers for the picture. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner are all set to reprise their center-stage roles for the film.