It’s been five years since Breaking Dawn — Part 2 , and the overwhelming buzz of the Twilight saga is mostly over. But Robert Pattinson’s remarks in a recent interview are fertile ground for theorizing.
Besides the occasional resurfacing of Lionsgate’s interest in continuing the saga, and a few impressive short films, there hasn’t been news about a Twilight revival, which is surprising. While many might be happy to see Twilight disappear from the news, it was a record-breaking franchise — and one of the few to actually stay gone during a time full of revivals.
Even the stars have focused on quieter films in recent years, and besides Kristen Stewart and Anna Kendrick, we haven’t heard much from them. It’s only natural to assume that the intensity of those years of non-stop press were enough; maybe they decided to focus on smaller projects and move away from Twilight, never looking back… which makes Pattinson’s comments particularly surprising.
In an interview with Yahoo Movies last month about his new film, The Lost City of Z, Pattinson was predictably asked about Twilight. But surprisingly, he didn’t stop at reminiscing; when asked if he would be open to more Twilight in the future, he said:
“I’m always kind of curious. Anything where there’s a mass audience — or seemingly an audience for it — I always like the idea of subverting people’s expectations. So there could be some radical way of doing it, which could be quite fun.”
It’s an interesting idea, and one that hasn’t been explored much when it comes to the Twilight saga. Maleficient and Snow White and the Huntsman gave new angles to age-old classics, and movies like Deadpool and Logan changed what we expect from superhero films. Ghostbusters gender-bent a franchise, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies followed Cowboys & Aliens’ suit in merging two very different genres. When done well, subversions work, and more so when they mean reviving an old franchise.
With so many reboots and remakes happening right now, it’s honestly surprising that Twilight hasn’t jumped on that bandwagon. Nostalgia is a huge factor in today’s marketing, and Twilight fans — mostly middle-school teenagers at the time — are now in college. A remake would undoubtedly be very successful; if not with critics, then at least at the box office.
Stephenie Meyer did release the gender-swapped version of Twilight in 2015, Life and Death, as a bonus feature of the 10th anniversary edition of the original book, which shows that she hasn’t abandoned that universe entirely — and that she’s open to subverting things. However, with Lionsgate clearly stating that the decision to expand would have to come from her, she might be the reason behind the lack of a revival.
It’s not really surprising. With audiences always firmly split between die-hard fans and people who intensely loathe the saga, a follow-up would have to be done carefully. Even fans would also have to be convinced by the premise, especially now that time has passed and many look back at the story with a critical, if still loving, eye – and that would require putting serious thought into what sort of story should be told on screen, especially if attempting to draw a wider audience than the original fandom.
The books are full of potential for new stories, but Pattinson is right — subverting the expectations set by the original saga would probably be the best way to go about creating intrigue.
Knowing Pattinson, something tongue-in-cheek and somewhat self-deprecating would be his perfect idea of a follow-up movie. Meyer herself has stated that she would be most interested in writing about Renesmee or Leah.
A continuation of Renesmee’s story, with her cross-species relationship with Jacob, could definitely make for a fun, even comedic romance. With the original protagonists in the background, it could be a perfect opportunity to poke fun at the weaker points of the original story, while opening up the universe to a new generation of characters.
And when it comes to Leah, there definitely aren’t enough female werewolf leads on screen (although Blood and Chocolate deserves acknowledgement for being one of the few). A film about her could be anything from a comedy, to an intense, action-packed thriller. Whether it turns romantic or not, Leah’s scathing attitude and strong personality would make for a very different story than what audiences expect from the saga, and surprise them with an excellent lead character.
Anything that intensifies the violence of the original saga is likely to attract an audience, to be honest. From the Vulturi to the past of some members of the Cullen family, an injection of adrenaline and slightly gory action could make for a fascinating change. Everyone would love to see Rosalie’s revenge on her attackers, Kill Bill-style.
And the historical context of character backstories would be particularly fascinating. Meyer knows that what fans are dying to see is an expansion of Alice and Jasper’s story, with its unique angle on the Civil War and the role of vampires at that time. A film of any genre set during a different time period would be very interesting, such as Carlisle’s journey as a doctor with superhuman powers, or even Edward’s own story nearly a hundred years before Bella.
Even crazier ideas might work, if Lionsgate gets daring enough and goes for it. After all, if Bella and Edward are immortal now that they’re both vampires… why not go sci fi and explore vampirism in the future? Sometimes the most surprising and absurd premises are what actually makes something sell.
Who knows if Twilight will ever return again, or if any of the original actors would be willing to reprise their roles if faced with the opportunity. But Lionsgate and Meyer are aware of the potential, and would be careless not to exploit it… even if a revival may not actually be that good of an idea. If they do, we hope it’s to do something radically different.