Mark Lord was commissioned to write the screenplay for the adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling novel, but his work was turned down when director Catherine Hardwicke joined the project.
The year 2008 marked the start on the big screen of one of the most successful franchises of the 2000s. Twilight, the adaptation of the first literary installment of the saga written by Stephenie Meyer, landed on billboards. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were chosen to get into the skin of the leading couple: the human Bella Swan and the vampire Edward Cullen. The film, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, is quite faithful to the novel. Nevertheless, the original script that Mark Lord wrote before the filmmaker joined the project was a totally different story than what Meyer put on paper.
Lord and Hardwicke have told on the podcast The Big Hit Show some details about this script that never saw the light. Lord has revealed that added a lot of action in the script to “give the male audience something else” because the producers thought they were going to lose them “with too much romance”.
In this way, the script had plots such as: Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli), Edward’s father, and Charlie Swan (Billy Burke), Belle’s father, murdered. In this version, moreover, the protagonist was a kind of vampire slayer, because she shot these beings with a shotgun before becoming one of them herself. Lord wanted Bella to be a female character “a little stronger” instead of “just being crazy about this guy.” “She’s a ‘badass’! I want that girl to shoot some vampires. I want you to blow it allLord adds.
This script was held for a time in the early stages of the film’s development, but when Hardwicke became director, the script was rejected. “I said, ‘First of all, this script has to be thrown away. It’s not good. You have to do it like the book.’, recalls the director. “The original script literally had Bella riding jet skis and being chased by the FBI. He was a track star. Nothing to do with the book.
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The truth is that Hardwicke already told some of these things in 2008 in Los Angeles Times. The director recalled that, in this script, Bella was going to a restaurant with the villainous vampires in the first few pages of the text. “And there’s this whole FBI organization tracking these bad vampires, the nomadic vampires, as they go from Canada to Mexico. And, at the end, the FBI is chasing them on jet skis in the ocean.”. The director compared, at that time, this story with a kind of Charlie’s Angels.
Finally, Melissa Rosenberg joined the project and she, along with Hardwicke, wrote the script on which the film was based, one that did tell what Meyer wrote. TO Twilight Four more films followed: new Moon (2009), Eclipse (2010), Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011) and Dawn Part 2 (2012). The saga grossed worldwide more than three billion dollars.
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