Category Archives: Wyck Godfrey
In the December issue of Syfy Magazine (hitting stores now, with The Walking Dead featured on the cover), Wyck Godfrey (producer on The Twilight Saga) talked a bit about how and fellow filmmakers decided upon hiring Bill Condon to direct The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
Explaining first how each of the previous directors matched up with their respective projects, Godfrey explained why he thought the final two were a good match for Condon.
“With Breaking Dawn, it’s a journey into adulthood. It’s a very mature step for Edward and Bella, moving into marriage and sex for the first time, pregnancy, birth. All of that really speaks to finding a filmmaker who could help our young actors, who hadn’t gone through any of that stuff … go through that process. Bill’s work has always come from a place of maturity, I found … He’s always directed films about misunderstood outsiders. And I feel that Edward and Bella are misunderstood outsiders, in terms of what they want. And Condon’s work also has some visual scale to it. Dreamgirls showed that he could direct a movie that had a really beautiful visual style to it.”
Speaking from the Baton Rouge set where both installments of Breaking Dawn are shooting simultaneously, Wyck answered some of the Twi-faithful’s more pressing questions.
Q: Where does the story split in half?
A: “We basically want to take the audience through the emotional part of Bella’s journey as she becomes a vampire. The first part will cover the wedding, the honeymoon and the birth.” The film ends just before she embarks on her supernatural transformation.
Q: The book has three segments, two of which present Bella’s point of view and a middle that’s devoted to the perspective of her rejected werewolf suitor, Jacob (Taylor Lautner). How is that handled?
A: “The story will break from her and follow Jacob throughout the course of the movie as he struggles with his own dilemma. There is a sense that as Bella and the Cullens (Edward’s makeshift vampire clan) deal with her pregnancy, the world is still turning outside with Jacob.”
Q: Why was Bill Condon, the Oscar-winning filmmaker best known for his musicals as the screenwriter of 2002’s Chicagoand the director of 2006’s Dreamgirls, selected as the director of the finale?
A: “These films have the most difficult stuff from a performance standpoint. With his history of directing, I can’t think of anyone who would be better at bringing out the best in an actor.” Plus, the director, who did the 1995 sequel to Candyman, is a fright-fare enthusiast. “He has an appetite for the genre and a passion for the Twilight books and movies.”
Q: Considering what goes on during the torturous birth process, how can the rating be PG-13?
A: With Twilight‘s core of under-18 fans, “it would be a crime against our audience to go R-rated.” However, “this is based on a much more mature book. We need to progress and be more sophisticated.”
A compromise: Having the bloody, bone-crushing delivery be seen only through Bella’s eyes. “She is looking through the haze, experiencing pain and everything rushing around her. We only see what she sees.”
Q: How is the long-awaited consummation of Edward and Bella’s love portrayed?
A: Even though their physical relationship goes way beyond what was shown in the first three films, “it does not become soft porn. It is a legitimate and important part of the movie, romantic and sensual.”
Q: At the end of Breaking Dawn, about 70 or so vampires from around the world gather to face off with the Cullens and their allies plus Jacob’s wolf pack. How can you keep both portions of the storytelling equally compelling?
A: “The second half is more of an action film in terms of life-and-death stakes.” But the domestic moments of the first film possess an emotional punch. “There are the pangs of newlywed tension that occur that are relatable even in a fantasy film. Marriage is not quite the experience that they thought it was.”
Q: Is there any chance that Condon could sneak in a musical number?
A: There might be traditional dancing at the wedding. But don’t expect any of the wolf pack to suddenly howl a tune or do a soft-shoe shuffle.
Although, as Godfrey jokes, “We just had a whole line of actors marching toward the camera. We could have them practice a chorus line with vampires doing kicks.”
Twilight Saga producer Wyck Godfrey has revealed how the filmmakers are considering handling Breaking Dawn‘s graphic birth scene, and why 3-D is still an option for the final installment of the franchise. In an interview with FEARnet, Godfrey confirms what Summit said emphatically to EW last month — the movies, to be directed by Bill Condon, will be rated PG-13 so the younger fans of the books can actually see them. Playing along with the idea that he could’ve gone the Cronenberg route, Godfrey joked, “Yeah! Dead Ringers. We should go full on! My wife’s an OB-GYN so we should bring her on set to make sure that if Edward is going to do an oral Cesarean, he really needs to make the proper incision with his teeth.” Then, he shared the anti-gore rational that, I have to admit, makes perfect sense:
“I think the one thing that we’ve done that we’ve really done in all the films is keep them very subjective and keep them from Bella’s point of view. So the conversations we’ve had with Bill, is that we’ll try to do something similar here; you’re with Bella’s perspective and her point of view of what’s taking place in the rush around her, as she’s in intense pain. Not so focused, objectively, on her body and his body and that. So I think it’ll be something like that, in terms of trying to make the audience experience and feel the confusion, almost, of what’s happening to her.”
Having us look out from Bella’s eyes could be effective. I know the image of my sister’s horrified face as she told me, “You don’t want to see it” when I got a nasty cut above my eye when I was young and thought it would be fun to tap dance on a coffee table, is still with me. That plan will rely on Condon getting great performances out of his actors (and that ability is one of the reasons Godfrey says the Dreamgirls director was hired, because Kristen Stewart will be exploring adult themes — marriage and motherhood — that are new to her).
When rumors first broke in February that producers were considering going 3-D for Breaking Dawn, 67 percent of readers responding to a PopWatch poll didn’t like the idea. But Godfrey makes a reasonable case for that as well:
“We have considered it, and everything’s being discussed, but I know that part of a way to differentiate the two movies would be to have one be in 2-D, and when she becomes a vampire we move into 3-D. But we haven’t really gotten far enough to decide what we’re going to do. I’m of two minds of it, frankly, and I think everyone is; I don’t want to chase the format if it’s not organic and appropriate. If we think it is, we will.”
At a press conference to promote the upcoming release of the film, director David Slade, screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and producer Wyck Godfrey talked about exploring the characters and the mythology more deeply in Eclipse. As the one responsible for writing the adaptations, Melissa Rosenberg also gave some insight as to what fans can expect from a two-part Breaking Dawn.
Q: David, what did you do to prepare for Eclipse? How did you bring your own style to the film?
David: There’s a cinematic vocabulary to each of these films, and it doesn’t come from that much premeditation. It comes from seeing the film in my head before we go out and make it, and being very clear about that and planning it, and then it’s about what’s right for the scene and the character. I believe the most interesting thing to look at, in the world, is the human face. That is why I tend to be a little closer to human faces than maybe other directors will be.
Wyck: When David was first talking to us about the movie, he had said that, by letting the background fall out of focus and really focus on the characters, in the dangerous scenes, it creates a heightened sense of anxiety. You feel like you don’t really know what’s back there. And, in the romantic scenes, it creates an incredible sense of intimacy. You really feel like you sense these two people in that world. And, I really think that was effective.
David: With close-ups come selective focus, and it is to focus the viewer and point them in a direction. In a sense, you get a close-up, which has very little amount of focus in it, but you’ll see medium shots and wider shots that will bring the audience’s attention to a specific place that is completely intentional.
Q: Why should someone go see Eclipse?
David: If there’s nothing worth seeing on TV, and you’ve not got any plans, I think we’ve got six or seven decapitations. If there’s nothing much going on that night, it’s a good night out, as long as there’s nothing else on, or any other movies you want to see. No. Being serious, I think it’s the most mature book, and I think we made the most mature film. Certainly, there’s a great deal of romance in the film, but there’s also other things. Vengeance is a very big theme in the film. Our action sequences are built out of character, so they’re not just events. They’re built out of a need to get to a place. And, I think it’s a film for everyone.
Q: David, you were working with a ready-made cast for Eclipse. How did you help establish what would be expected of their characters for this film?
David: What I did was see each one of the actors, individually. We had one-on-one meetings. The first time, I would just listen to everything they told me about their characters and everything they thought about their characters. Then, we’d meet again and talk about the script, also one-on-one. Then, we’d meet a third time and a fourth time. By that time, we were talking about all the ideas that we were incorporating into that character and story. And then, the final stage was to go into an ensemble rehearsal, where all the actors came together, and we didn’t talk about character anymore. We talked about content and story. That was how I chose to go about it.
Q: Melissa, how difficult was it to adapt this novel into a two-hour movie?
Melissa: To begin with, it took me by surprise because I actually thought this would be the easiest adaptation, since there’s so much conflict in it, and you have this huge battle that you’re building toward. But then, once I got into it and was actually breaking the story, I realized that all of that happened in the third act. So then, it was about looking at what was going on in the first two acts, other than conversation, leading up to the third act. What I found was that, in a movie, we can cut away to another perspective, but in the book, it’s all Bella’s perspective. So, it actually ended up being the most fun to write, in the end, after I got over the incredible disappointment that it wasn’t going to be easy, as if anything ever is.
Q: David, were there any expectations for you to maintain the style and tone of the first two films?
David: You know, I think the only thing that really was expressed to me was continuity. Different films are expected when there are different directors per film with different visions for the film. I was given a great deal of freedom, in terms of the aesthetics. I inherited the sets, but I went into the kitchen set and we made it bigger, and we went into Bella’s room and made it four feet wider because I was going to shoot with a different lens than the way they shot before. So, the answer is that I was given freedom, only just to respect what had come before. There were no mandates.
Wyck: I think, if anything, one of the chief reasons we hired David was for his visual style, and that it was different from the first two films. He had really worked with young actresses and gotten performances out of them that were incredible, and we felt he understood them. Something we’ve always wanted was for each director to bring his own individual style.
David: I tried not to focus too much on the other two films. I tried to just keep this one in my mind, and people like Wyck were there to give me a nudge, if I was doing something that was going to invalidate something or cross a line, which hardly ever happened, really.
Wyck: Every now and then, he’d have Edward walk through the sunlight and we’d be like, “Oh, wait, he has to sparkle.”
David: Let me tell you, the sunlight was our biggest enemy in Vancouver. We had the sunniest time. Every day, we’d spend more time in the sun than we did in the rain.
Wyck: No one likes to hear that you’re not shooting because it’s sunny.
David: It would have been perfect for any other movie.
Q: Can you talk about the decision to replace Rachelle Lefevre with Bryce Dallas Howard?
Wyck: It all happened really quickly. Rachelle became unavailable three weeks into shooting, and we had to react very quickly. Bryce was somebody that early on, even from Twilight, had been on a list and was unavailable. We were up against it and had to pick quickly, and were really fortunate that we sent Bryce the script immediately and she decided she wanted to do it. So, the process of replacing Rachelle and finding the right actress was actually smooth because Bryce was the first person we went to and she said yes.
David: One of the slight misconceptions about these films is that they’re these giant, huge-budget blockbusters. These films are made more like independent films, so our schedule is so tight. We shot this film in about 50 days. Most action movies are shot in double or triple that. We had a schedule that had been put together like a jigsaw puzzle, so we basically had no other choice.
Q: Melissa, do you get intimidated having Stephenie Meyer so involved?
Melissa: Regarding Stephenie, I’m really grateful she’s able to spend the kind of time on set that she does. She and I are the people on the page and we see things in a way that I hope is valuable to the director and the producers.
Q: Are you on the set during shooting?
Melissa: Because I’ve been juggling Dexter and Twilight for all this time, and have gone right from one Twilight to the next, I’ve been unavailable to be on set and, frankly, I don’t know if I could have been much use. If David needed a rewrite, I’d get a phone call.
Wyck: Also, Melissa and Stephanie work so closely together in the outlining and script stage that, by the time we’re shooting, there aren’t really any surprises. And, if anything comes up, Stephenie can answer questions that we have that aren’t in her books, like, “Would that character ever do this?,” and she’s like, “No, that character was born in 1702.” She rattles it off and it really just fills out the screenplay.
David: She has all of these backstories for everybody. I remember Melissa and I getting on the phone with her about Riley and the cave because we had no idea, and we said, “What is all this?” And, Stephenie was like, “Well, it’s obvious. This is how it happens.” We wouldn’t have known, but she knew because she’d written the story in her head.
Q: What is the most important aspect of the adaptation process?
David: I think sticking to the emotional character arc was the most important thing, yet we had so much story to tell and it was a great story. I think the hardest thing was combining those things and figuring out what the hell we were going to cut. The Jasper story is a movie in itself, and we wanted to have all the salient points, but not detract from the main story, and still pay respect to the source material. It’s the dichotomy between such great content and story, and how you shave off.
Wyck: The genius of Melissa Rosenberg is that she’s able to distill a book down to its essential qualities. In each movie, she’s done an amazing job of that. And, Stephenie can go, “I really think you’re going to miss this, if we don’t have it.” It’s a back and forth of figuring out how to accommodate some of those scenes. We’ve been able to distill the film down to its emotional essentials.
David: I hate to use the word dichotomy twice, between this film and the last, in terms of vampires, but what was so attractive to me about the Twilight films, after doing the horrific film I’d done before (30 Days of Night), is what Stephenie had done was so cleverly package all that is so dangerous and sexy into this purity, and then surrounded it with family and make it acceptable.
Q: How was it to do the Jasper and Rosalie flashbacks?
David: They were great fun to do. Eclipse has these great backstories. It was great to do a Western, a ‘30s period piece, a 1600’s historical piece and a contemporary film, all at once.
Wyck: It was also great to see Rosalie and Jasper as human.
David: One of the horse-riding sequences had to be shot with a second unit because I wasn’t available, and I was like, “How do we get his face here?” People had to know he was human because the rest of it was going to be nighttime and I wanted people to see Jasper’s face as human. It was important.
Q: David, what were the specific changes you wanted to make, going into the film?
David: With Edward, I really wanted to make sure this character was dangerous. In the last movie, he had played a different character arc, but in this movie, I wanted to bring out the carnivore in him. That had to come throughout the film, and he hadn’t really done that so much. That was the main thing. I tried to look at every scene, with that in mind. Underlying everything is danger. That was the intention.
Q: Do you have any special features or extras planned for the DVD?
Wyck: There’s the nude scene we shot that wasn’t in the book. No. I don’t know. With any film, you go through the process of editing it down to its fighting weight and, ultimately, you’re going to have some scenes that didn’t end up in the movie.
David: There were a number of scenes which just felt excessive, in terms of beating the same story, but some of them were really nice.
Wyck: There was a great scene with Angela (Christian Serratos) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) that is really just two girls talking about guy troubles. It’s really, really sweet, but it took place in a section of the movie that we really had to cut.
David: What happens is that the film has its own momentum from the script. When you start going, by the time you hit the third act, you’re just blasting along, and that scene just came to a stop. But, it’s a beautiful scene that’s beautifully performed, and it’ll be a nice little bonus for fans of the book.
Wyck: I think there’s going to be a lot of classic behind-the-scenes stuff, where you’re going to get to see how we did most of the action and stunts in the movie, and a lot of the CG process. That stuff will flesh out the experience for audiences that do like to go behind the camera and see how it’s all done.
Melissa: It’s interesting, when I did the first Twilight movie, I actually wrote it before it was cast. I was writing in a vacuum, and it actually had a lot of humor in it. And then, we realized, as we got it on actors, that it just wasn’t appropriate. But, now the actors are more comfortable with it and I think the story lends itself to that. Wyck actually came up with the best line in the movie, “Does he own a shirt?” There’s a confidence level in the storytelling now.
Wyck: There’s a comfort level that people have with each other. When you first meet someone, sometimes you’re less able to go to the comedic place than you are when you’ve known each other for a while. And, as an audience member, you want to experience the progression of the characters, as well as appreciate when they are starting to be easier with each other and more casual in the face of heightened drama, which Eclipse certainly has.
David: You look at the performances before, and you look at someone like Billy Burke, and Billy can improvise. Everyone else can tell me what they want to change and we can talk about it, but Billy just has natural comic timing. All those expressions he has, you have to capitalize on that.
Q: Melissa, how is Dexter going?
Melissa: I finally had to leave, after the fourth season, because I couldn’t do Breaking Dawn and Dexter, at the same time. It was very sad to do that. It was the best TV experience of my career.
Q: Are you not still on as a producer, in some capacity?
Melissa: No, I had to bail out, and they were gracious enough to let me out. Someone else is running the show.
Q: What do you think of them bringing Julie Benz back for one scene, even though Rita is dead?
Melissa: Oh, it must be a flashback, or something like that. I have no idea.
Q: Do you miss it?
Melissa: I already do miss it. All my friends were going back into the writer’s room in February, and I was home working on Breaking Dawn, going, “Aww.”
Q: Did that give you empathy for Stephenie, seeing your characters get passed on to someone else?
Melissa: Absolutely! But, coming up in television, when you’re a staff writer, you have the experience of people taking your material and rewriting it. There’s not a writer alive who feels like their own draft isn’t better.
Q: What will be the biggest challenge of splitting the movies for Breaking Dawn?
Melissa: They’re very dense with mythology. There are a lot of characters and a lot of detail, and it’s just really about who you choose to pull forward. It was a lot of the same stuff that I had to do with Twilight.
Q: Are there more backstories to come?
Melissa: There are more backstories to come, and there is an expansion of the mythology. All these different characters are being introduced, and Stephenie has developed a really intricate mythology that is very detailed, which is why it’s so much fun to play in her world.
Q: Some people have said that Breaking Dawn is unfilmable and not as good a book as the others. How do you approach it to make it work?
Melissa: I believe it is filmable and I believe there is a great story to be told in that. It was a very bold move, what Stephenie did and where she took her characters. She had them grow up, get married and have children, and had Bella realize ultimate potential of becoming a vampire. It was a very bold move. I think it lost some of the audience who wanted to continue the fantasies and the desire. Now, she’s got it all, so what do you do with it? It’s a very different kind of movie and a different kind of story. There’s definitely material enough for two movies, but for the first time, there is also a little breathing room. There’s room to explore a little bit and to expand. I’m excited about that.
Q: What do you think is the appeal of this series?
Melissa: I think it taps in so deeply to desire. First of all, you’re coming in from Bella’s point of view, who is the every girl. We can identify with her. She’s the every person. And then, you make her the most desirable human being on the face of the earth, and there’s a vicarious excitement to that. There’s a fantasy element to it. And, we all have had those experiences in our lives of that first love. That’s certainly attractive.
Q: With the wealth of backstory and appetite for more Twilight, would you see doing movies on Alice or any of the other characters, with Stephenie’s approval?
Melissa: I think she’s going to do that. I would look at anything she wrote. If this series is going to expand, it will be by her doing.
Q: Will it always be book first?
Melissa: I would think it would be. I haven’t even thought of it, but I would think it would have to be book first.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse opens on June 30th.
FearNet Interview Producer Wyck Godfrey.
I like to picture the two-part Breaking Dawn movie as a NC-17 gynecology horror flick packed with pillow-biting sex and bellies ripped open, and guess what? I’m not alone. In fact, Twilight Saga producer Wyck Godfrey is the one who brought up David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers when we met to discuss this month’s Eclipse, in which Twilight heroine Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) finds herself torn between her vampire and werewolf beaus as an army of bloodsuckers threatens to kill everyone she loves. (He also told us he’d love to cast Stewart in his remake of the brutal French-language pic Martyrs. More on that here.)
But Godfrey knows his Twilight audience, so I asked him to set the record straight on rumors that the two-part final installment, Breaking Dawn, could go for an R-rating. Over the course of a highly entertaining discussion, he explained why 30 Days of Night director David Slade was chosen to helm Eclipse, what made Dreamgirls razzle-dazzler Bill Condon right for Breaking Dawn, and how elements of horror filmmaking factor into the vampire romance franchise.
We discussed Bella’s newfound confidence in Eclipse, and how her infamous upcoming childbirth scene could possibly go down with a PG-13 rating. He mused on how 3D might be used to film part of Breaking Dawn, which begins shooting this November. He gave a compelling defense of Bella Swan’s problematic attractions to both Edward and Jacob, a love triangle that reaches a boiling point in Eclipse but develops new complexity as we move into Breaking Dawn. Most importantly, Twi-hards, Wyck Godfrey promised plenty of feathers.
Dive in for the full interview!
Why was David Slade the right choice to direct Eclipse?
Honestly, I loved Hard Candy. Ever since I saw that movie I was sending him everything I had. I loved the performances he got from Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page, I loved the filmmaking and the way he kept one small house, and many times one small room, alive and tense and exciting for an entire movie. And then, I saw 30 Days of Night and liked the genre elements of that, and how he had a real vision for how he wanted that world to look. That was kind of the perfect combination: his ability to tell a story and elicit amazing performances in Hard Candy, and to create a world in 30 Days of Night, which were sort of the combined qualities we were looking for in a director. So, coming off of Chris [Weitz], who is a really classic filmmaker and creates beautiful imagery, but very romantic imagery, we wanted to go in a little bit of a different direction and create something that had a little bit more anxiety and edge to it, as Bella really struggled with her choices, between Jacob and Edward, between becoming a vampire and staying human… we thought [David’s] style would bring a lot to all of that stuff.
Along those lines, what makes Bill Condon right for Breaking Dawn?
The themes and the story of Breaking Dawn are very mature; Bella and Edward are going through very adult things, from marriage to childbirth, motherhood, parenthood, and the evolution of their relationship into something that is a partnership, which is not the way Edward has viewed this relationship with her before. Bill’s a very mature filmmaker; he’s dealt with very difficult themes and stories in his career. He’s also gotten Academy Award nominations for actors in the last three films that he’s done. And from a performance standpoint, Kristen’s going to be diving into stuff that she hasn’t been through. It’s one thing that she can remember first love and falling in love and being torn between two guys, probably, but the idea of dealing with some of these issues and having a filmmaker that can really help them as actors was vital to Breaking Dawn. Also, the visual nature of Dreamgirls made us feel like he could create something with a real scope and grandeur to it.
There’s also his earlier work: Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, Sister, Sister…
He’s a genre guy! That’s really exciting, that in some ways he’ll be coming full circle and utilizing his early roots with the stuff he’s been doing recently. I think that’ll be fun for him.
The whole idea of balancing horror and fantasy elements with a greater love story also comes up in Eclipse, which ramps up the genre elements considerably from the first two Twilight films. Was there ever an impulse to go even darker, to tip the balance more towards horror with this installment?
I think it’s not as mathematical as that. The core of the story is character based, and you have to nail that first — that’s why people love the franchise, but they also love the mythology and the genre elements of it. You want to make sure that you’re tracking Bella’s internal struggle along with the external conflicts of the movie, which is what’s happening in Seattle, what dangers are descending upon Forks and threatening both families she loves, the wolves and the Cullens. I think that’s something that we, Melissa Rosenberg, and Stephenie Meyer worked very hard on in the treatment stage and at the script stage to feel like we had a screenplay that represented both sides of that story.
The production notes quote you talking about the Eclipse production as a sort of summer camp, not without “the squabbles that families have.” Can you elaborate on that?
This is the first kind of true series I’ve been involved in, but usually you become a really tight knit family over the course of making a movie, and then you never see each other again, and that reminded me of summer camp as a kid, where I’d make these intense friendships and wouldn’t see some people ever again, and some people until the following summer. On Eclipse, having done two films together we all know each other really well; we know each others’ instincts, who’s in a good mood in the morning and who’s in a bad mood [laughs], but with that comes the ability to communicate more openly about things that you’re really pissed off about or things you want. You get that sense that we’re all back together, we’re all diving into it, but it is like a family in that you’ll have those moments where you’re not getting along. The good news is that you know, even out of that, you can sort of be back together afterwards and re-bond in different ways.
On the first film, when you’re first getting to know people, you’re guarded in a way that you’re not when you’ve known someone for two years. You’re guarded in that you may not say something you want to say to someone for fear of their repercussions, and now it’s just like, ‘You know what, you really pissed me off when you did that!’ And you just get through it.
Eclipse, very importantly, features a speech by Bella in which she asserts her confidence and her newfound maturity. Was that a response in any way to criticisms of Bella’s passiveness in the first two films?
No, I think it was a response to her journey in this movie, where you felt like if she starts the movie with the decision ‘I’m going to become a vampire, this is what I want,’ and you take her through a series of conflicts and obstacles that force her to call that choice into question, at the end of it she needs to have come to a place where she not only goes, ‘Okay, I’m going to become a vampire’ but also that she has a heightened understanding of what that means. We all felt that we needed to articulate that and make it clear, not only to Edward, but also to the audience.
Do you think non-fans who may not know and love the characters as well may reject both Edward and Jacob as unhealthy romantic choices for Bella, both not good for her in different ways?
I don’t know — what do you think? Is one of them a really bad boyfriend option?
Let me first say that I am firmly on Team Edward… but I think some might see him as being very controlling, while Jacob is emotionally manipulative in what he does, specifically in Eclipse.
I think the thing that is very relatable whether or not you’ve read the books is that men are completely flawed, one way or the other, and women have to choose the best qualities out of one man knowing they’ve got deficiencies in other areas. [Laughs] So Bella’s going through what every girl goes through.
Well, I can’t argue with that. Now, you and I have talked before about Breaking Dawn and how it would never go beyond a PG-13 rating, but recently rumors of an R-rating have sprung back up. Would you care to set the record straight again?
NC-17. We’re going full on X. [Laughs] Do they have triple-X anymore? I believe fully, I’m unwavering in my belief that these will be PG-13 movies. And really, I say that not because I know what we’re shooting but because I feel that they should be. I feel like the audience of the books and the movies, many of them are under 18; my ten-year-old son goes to these movies, I can’t make an R-rated conclusion to the franchise.
Is your ten-year-old son going to understand pillow-biting and feathers strewn everywhere?
By the time it comes out, he’ll be 11 and a half, and I think that’s all that was on my mind!
Fans around the world seem to have one big request, and that is: Feathers. Lots of feathers.
We have feathers currently being grown on geese around the world so that we can steal them for our pillow-biting feather eruption!
And then, there’s the birthing scene, which some of us horror fans fantasize about going down like a scene in a Cronenbergian horror movie…
Yeah! Dead Ringers. We should go full on! My wife’s an OB-GYN so we should bring her on set to make sure that if Edward is going to do an oral Cesarean, he really needs to make the proper incision with his teeth.
Needless to say I know that a gory Breaking Dawn isn’t going to happen quite like I envision it, but how close do you think it can come to evoking the sort of visceral goriness of what’s written in the novel?
I think the one thing that we’ve done that we’ve really done in all the films is keep them very subjective and keep them from Bella’s point of view. So the conversations we’ve had with Bill, is that we’ll try to do something similar here; you’re with Bella’s perspective and her point of view of what’s taking place in the rush around her, as she’s in intense pain. Not so focused, objectively, on her body and his body and that. So I think it’ll be something like that, in terms of trying to make the audience experience and feel the confusion, almost, of what’s happening to her.
Earlier today, Kristen said Breaking Dawn will start shooting in October — is that right?
November. She starts training in October. And we’ll probably shoot [the two parts] together, as one long story.
And how might you use 3D in either part of Breaking Dawn?
We have considered it, and everything’s being discussed, but I know that part of a way to differentiate the two movies would be to have one be in 2D, and when she becomes a vampire we move into 3D. But we haven’t really gotten far enough to decide what we’re going to do. I’m of two minds of it, frankly, and I think everyone is; I don’t want to chase the format if it’s not organic and appropriate. If we think it is, we will.
Lastly, how are you juggling the Twilight Saga with all of the other titles on your slate?
Well, my company has two partners — myself and Marty Bowen. The way we’ve always run things is we work on things together up until one’s going, and either I oversee a movie or he oversees a movie during production and we give each other our other points of view while we’re in post. So while I was doing Twilight and New Moon he was doing Dear John. While I was doing Eclipse he was doing Everything Must Go. During Breaking Dawn we have a couple of films that’ll probably go that he’ll be overseeing; one’s a Fernando Meirelles Janis Joplin movie with Amy Adams playing Janis Joplin. The other is a ten-year high school reunion movie that Jamie Linden, who wrote Dear John, is writing and directing, and hopefully Channing Tatum and a bunch of his buddies are going to do it.