“Twilight“: the story of a young girl, an alluring vampire, and the FBI agent hunting them down.
Sounds a little off, doesn’t it? But according to the film’s producer, at one point the movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer‘s bestselling novel was going to be much different than what ended up on the screen.
In a recent interview with Hollywood Life, producer Mark Morgan opened up about the difficult three-year process he endured to get “Twilight” on the screen. Paramount Pictures originally bought the rights to the novel, but the studio wanted to add in more action movie elements that weren’t in the original romantic story.
Morgan said, “They had Bella fighting back. They had her father dying in one of the scripts, actually, and her becoming a vampire in the first movie.” According to Morgan, the book was just beginning to gain popularity at that time, and had not yet developed its massive fan following. So the studio was not confident that the love story could attract a big enough audience.
Apparently, Paramount felt that making “Twilight” into an action flick would attract more male moviegoers. Morgan said, “They would have gone for someone bigger… One of their drafts literally had a Korean FBI agent who was hunting and tracking vampires across the coast.” There were also scenes in the early scripts that had “SWAT [officers] in the trees… and the vampires were picking them out of the woods.”
Stephenie Meyer wasn’t happy with the changes to her story that were being proposed. She told MediaBlvd Magazine, “Bella was a track star in the first scene. I read it and was like, “This isn’t the girl from the book that I love!’” She felt that the script strayed so far from her original work that it should not have even been called “Twilight.”
Eventually, Paramount decided that they changed their minds and were not going to make the movie. Morgan then shopped the book around to other Hollywood studios, but none of the majors were interested. Eventually, Summit Entertainment stepped forward to not only make the movie, but to do so in a way that was faithful to the book. It was even written into Meyer’s contract that the vampires would not be shown with fangs, just as she had depicted them.
It was a gamble, but one that paid off handsomely. So far, the three movies of “The Twilight Saga” have earned nearly $1.8 billion at the box office worldwide. Plus, there are two more films on the way. The final book, “Breaking Dawn,” will be split into separate movies coming in 2011 and 2012.