THE TWILIGHT ZONE
move over harry potter. twilight is the newest publishing sensation to storm hollywood-this time, with a forbidden vampire romance.
Could a vampire movie-with two relative unknowns starring as a hunky bloodsucker and a gawky teenager- become the biggest blockbuster of the season?
We'll find out next Friday, when Twilight, the latests mega-selling novel-to-film franchise, opens in theaters.
Anticipation among the books' leigons of young fans already has turned the series' author, Stephenie Meyer, into publishings newest literary superstar.
What, you ask, is the appeal of her dark vampire tales? "We love to be scared," says Meyer, whose books have sold more than 17 million copies worldwide. "But most of the monsters that you see are disgusting. They are usually oozing something. Vampires are the only ones who are dangerous and scarey, and, at the same time, they're hot."
Enter Hollywood. Filmmakers are hoping all that forbidden passion will turn the books' smitten fans into devoted moviegoers yearning for moe.
"Vampires aren't like creepy zombies and mummies," Twilight director Catherine Hardwick says. "I want a vampire to bite my neck."
Meyer was a 29 year old Mormon stay-at-home mom in Pheonix when she cranked out Twilight in three months in 2003. She had never even seen a episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or read a vampire book. Consequently, Twilight is a far cry from your standard bloodsucking tale of skulking nightstalkers in dark capes.
In fact, Twilight's creatures of the night play baseball, drive ultra-fast sports cars, sparkle in the sunlight and look like they just stepped off the cover of GQ or Cosmopolitan.
In other words, Twilight's vampires are dead sexy.
Despite the relative obscurity of its leads-British actor Robert Pattinson, 22, who played doomed Cedric Diggory in two of the Harry Potter films, and Kristen Stewart, 18, who has had small dramatic roles in films such as In the land of women, and Into the Wild-Twilight's final trailer was watched 3.5 million times within the 48 hours of its online premiere.
And a sequel adapted by the second book, New Moon, is already in the works.
Pattinson says he discovered his newfound popularity early while shooting the film. "On the first day, there was no one, and on the last day there were like 70 people waiting outsite the set," he says. "They just all found out where it was. It was really strange. We were shooting in the summer in California, literally in the middle of the desert, and there were Twilight fans!"
Teen girls may be the books'No.1 followers, but the love affair between Bella Swan (Stewart) and her mysterious vampire suitor, Edward (Pattinson) - whom she thinks of as her "Angel" (hence the angel's feather on our cover) - appeals to both sexes, says Edi Gathegi, who plays Laurent, one of the movies not-as-lovable vamps. "I'm a Twihard now," he says, refering to what the many online devotees call themselves. "I'm a grown man, and I love this story!"
Cam Gigandet, who stars as James, the story's main bad guy, says he believes that Twilight's universal love themes will transfer well onto the film.
"For me at least, it's so relatable: overcoming something to be with the person that you love," Gigandet explains. "You want so desperatly for Edward to win. Maybe it's just the hopeless romantic in everyone in the world."
I'm sorry for any typos!