For any of the creative people involved on the first “Twilight,” the past two years has been a dramatic journey few of them ever foresaw happening.
At best, the first “Twilight” was going to be a popular teen flick that made somewhere between $50 and $75 million in the U.S. and maybe spawn a sequel. Very few of the behind-the-camera talent saw a massive franchise-creating blockbuster in the making. No one fits that profile more than screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. Before the property took off, the longtime TV writer’s biggest claim to fame was the screenplay for “Step Up” and her producing and writing duties on “Dexter.” Now, with “Twilight,” “New Moon” and “Eclipse,” Rosenberg’s name is instantly recognizable to literally millions of fans across the globe. HitFix had the opportunity to interview Rosenberg with a number of other select outlets on the rainy set of “New Moon” in May, but was happy to catch up with her in sunny California today.
First off, the question everyone wants to know. After adapting the first three books will Rosenberg be brought back to tackle “Breaking Dawn”? As Having had a bit of a break, she says, “It would be a pleasure and an honor to do it. We will see.”
Moreover, buzz has been that Summit Entertainment will divide “Breaking Dawn” into two films like the last “Harry Potter” novel. I asked Rosenberg if she thought that was absolutely necessary and she honestly seemed non-committal on the subject.
“I don’t think it needs to, but I think it can,” Rosenberg says. ” It could be a great single movie and it could live as a [two-parter]. It could go either way.”
There has also been industry scuttlebutt, but rarely discussed amongst the fanbase, that Summit (or perhaps a future buyer of the company) could explore the “Twilight” universe with movies not based on specific Meyer novels. Imagine a movie just about the Volturi or the Wolfpack for instance. When I floated this scenario to Rosenberg she found it hard to believe creator Stephenie Meyer would sanction films not created on her specific novels.
“The person who writes ‘Twilight’ is Stephenie and she’s the one who creates the original stories and characters,” Rosenberg says. “She could certainly expand it as she has created a world of rich characters [outside of the books, but] I hope she doesn’t.”
Unfortunately, as Rosenberg is well aware, never say never in Hollywood.
Speaking of Meyer, the novelit’s peer, J.K. Rowling is know to have loosened the cretiave reigns on “Harry Potter” screenwriter Steve Kloves as that franchise progressed. Rosenberg wouldn’t reveal if Meyer has reached that comfort level with her yet, but admits she did take some “liberties” in “New Moon” when adapting the novel for the big screen.
“I consult Stephenie always. I break the story in outline. I have a very very detailed outline. I rarely bring it to anyone else. I usually just show finished draft. The producers see it and then comment. That’s when other people see it,” Rosenberg says. “In this case Stephenie felt it was right for the story. She’s been a great asset and her feed back is invaluable.”
Up next is David Slade’s “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” which capped off Rosenberg’s busy screenwriting year. Since many consider storyline for Meyer’s third novel more of a traditional three act structure, I asked Rosenberg if she found it easier to adapt “Eclipse” than “New Moon.”
“Actually that’s funny you say that. That is what I thought it would be. I’m thinking ‘Eclipse’ is going to be easier because it has this great action and a great battle,” Rosenberg reveals. “And then you realize that all happens in 20 pages. What are you doing for the other 90 pages? In a novel, you can have some of the greatest reactive characters. You can’t have a lead who is reactive, however. You can, I just don’t know how compelling it is. You have to have a proactive character. For me, that was what the challenge was, shifting Bella into a proactive role. It ended up being the hardest of the three to write. But, hopefully. I also feel like as with any craft you get batter every time do better. I hope.”
For those that haven’t read “Eclipse” and assume the “30 Days of Night” director’s involvement means a potentially bloodier third installment, Rosenberg says she wouldn’t go that far.
She notes, “I think it’s more action than gore and I also think it’s scarier not seeing something than seeing it. I think it doesn’t have to be a gorefest and I don’t think it will be. I think it will be engaging and suspenseful. That is my hope. And I think David is the perfect director to bring that to the screen.”
Besides potentially returning to write “Breaking Dawn,” Rosenberg hasn’t committed to her next TV or film project. Instead, she’s taking a deep breathe and looking forward to fans experiencing “New Moon.”
“I am very blessed,” Rosenberg says. “I am weighing the options and trying to enjoy the moment. “
For more on “New Moon” check out HitFix’s interview with the Volturi, aka Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Cameron Bright and Jamie Campbell Bower, embedded within this story or for a larger version, click here.
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” opens nationwide on Friday. Find tickets and showtimes here.