While it might not’ve been high cinema, the original Twilight translated Stephanie Meyer’s hit book series to the screen in a way that made pretty much all of the many fans quite happy. But they could’ve come away from the movie feeling quite differently if MTV and Paramount had stuck with their original script treatment, which deviated from the source material in some pretty damn silly ways.
This insight into Twilight‘s adaptation woes comes from director Catherine Hardwicke, who recently spoke to CinemaBlend and said the following:
The [initial] script that I read had gone through the whole development process at MTV and Paramount. And you get all these notes — nobody’s fault or anything — but you get notes, and you try this, you try this. So it had veered very far from the book, and so I did not like it at all. And no studio wanted to make it. And so Paramount put it into it turnaround.
Bella was a track star in the first scene, not an every-girl kind of awkward and clumsy [kid]… she was like a bad ass, and then it escalated into this whole thing where there were CIA agents on jet skis trying to find the vampires, you know. It really went, ‘Whooooo!’ She was not working for the CIA, but it was a different movie.
While I would definitely pay to see a movie about CIA agents on jet skis hunting down vampires, I can understand that this might not be the drizzly vampire romance that teenage girls might’ve hoped for. And frankly, if you want a jet ski vampire film then you should get in touch with Troma and Lloyd Kaufman and they’ll have the movie on your desk by Monday morning.
Hardwicke went on to explain that she fought for the studio to understand why readers adored the book so much, saying:
When I read the book, I said, let’s go to the heart of why people love his book, you know? It’s this romantic, crazy, out of control, you know, the first time you fell in love, stupid passion that you have for somebody that’s totally wrong, but she doesn’t give a shit! And that’s what makes us alive. Let’s find that life force, where you will do reckless, crazy things because you know, you’re somebody. So that’s what I wanted in there. So we got rid of the jet skis. [laughs]
Sometimes, I wish I could take a peek into an alternate universe where we got the radical jet ski Twilight (and the Snyder cut of Justice League, and Bill Murray in Tim Burton’s Batman), but considering that the franchise eventually totted up a whopping $3.3 billion at the box office, it’s safe to say the studio was glad they listened to Hardwicke in the end. Even better, she revealed that her adaptation has one rather unlikely cheerleader.
I just heard from Eli Roth, because I’m working on a project with him, that Quentin Tarantino, on camera, said in an interview that Twilight made him feel like he was like a 13 year old girl, and that he loved it. That is awesome. That’s kind of funny and hilarious. And that’s exactly what I was trying to do.
With Lionsgate reportedly eager to put another Twilight film into production, we may yet return to the world of sparkly vampires. CEO Jon Feltheimer said back in 2017 that “there are a lot more stories to be told, and we’re ready to tell them when our creators are ready to tell those stories.” But… could one – just one – of those stories feature CIA agents on jet skis? Or what about a crossover with Blade?