I just connect with the stories Stephenie Meyer tells. And so I do not consider myself as much a fan of movie translations of her books by other individuals so much as I classify myself as a fan of her written stories. They are my favorite form of entertainment and it is nice to be able to enjoy something that was written just for the sake of entertainment and enjoyment on her part as much as they are for me as a reader of them.
All that being said, there is such an astronomical amount of hype going on about the movies part of The Twilight Saga. (duh. it's everywhere.) I was extremely thrilled beyond belief at the prospect of seeing Twilight brought to life physically on screen. The buzz was immediate for all of us in the fandom. The fans began marketing the movie even before it began filming! We wanted to know anything and everything about the movie! Set's, wardrobe, hair, the most seemingly minute details, you name it! The cast and crew literally had no idea what they had gotten themselves into. We are a very close-knit fanbase, and we are perfectionists about getting it right! Why? Because it is the story and the characters that we love passionately and only want justice done to them in the way Stephenie Meyer brought them to life in her books.
The fans were lucky beyond belief that Catherine Hardwicke was the director of Twilight. She "got it" right away. She connected with the fans and acknowledged that it was the fans who would make it a success so it was the fans she would do her best to satisfy. She didn't have much to work with but she pulled it off! She caught the vision and gave us a movie that depicted the essence of Stephenie Meyer's story and characters honorably.
Melissa Rosenburg managed to accomplish something few could ever do... condense Twilight yet preserve the essence of it. She not only did it, but made it look effortless!
When you break it down, it seems like we have a proven formula for success in the box office...
- Stephenie Meyer's story preserved with integrity,
- Melissa Rosenburg to condense that story in a way that preserves its integrity,
- Catherine Hardwicke to direct the filming of the story and actors' portrayal of characters in a way that preserves the story's integrity,
- the pleased fans to market (maintain and build hype) for a movie they trust will honor the integrity of the story they love.
The product of this formula is: a box office success.
You'll notice, I didn't put any of the stars of the movie into that formula. Some would argue that the success of the movie was due to Rob Pattinson's excellent portrayal of Edward. I personally disagree with that. I believe the hype surrounding him is because young girls are confusing Rob Pattinson, the person, with Edward, the character. (Of course that doesn't mean the film makers won't use that to their advantage while filming NM.)
It is the character created by Stephenie Meyer that they are swooning over. The truth is, Yoda could have been cast in the role of Edward and we'd still love him, because... it's Edward! They could change out the whole cast (aside from Peter Facinelli and Billy Burke, who were flawless in their portrayals; and possibly Jackson Rathbone, who I'd like to see more from before forming an opinion) for New Moon and it wouldn't bother me. I dare to even suggest that they could replace THE Robert Pattinson and THE Kristen Stewart, and if the integrity of the story is still intact, the fans would still deliver and make it a success.
*Please don't throw things at me! I reiterate, I'm a fan of the books more than of the actors involved in the movie.
I, for one, am disappointed that Catherine Hardwicke will not be involved with New Moon. I can't even begin to presume what the whole negotiation situation between Summit and her was but I will give a little personal speculation here that she had the integrity to basically say, if they weren't gonna let her do it right... she won't do it at all. Once again, that is pure speculation on my part.
The fans had faith in her as the director for Twilight and then had no doubts with her at the prospect of directing New Moon. So it's not surprising that many of us would be nervous about rushing the sequel and putting it in the hands of someone who may not have the same level of commitment and appreciation to "getting it right" that Catherine Hardwicke was proven to have.
However, if the film-making-powers-that-be keep the following simple formula in mind, I think we'll all be satisfied with the outcome.
- Stay true to Stephenie Meyer's story and characters, and work WITH her on this.
- Through every process, acknowledge, appreciate and involve the fans who will make it a success.
- If the director isn't going to be Catherine Hardwicke, then at least let the director be a woman. Women "get" this story... it's just a fact. And it's women who made this story a success.
So there you have it... the controversy! Seriously, I just wish Stephenie Meyer had a new book coming out. I'm so ready for yet another literary masterpiece of fun just from her!!!