By Ashly Moore Sheldon • August 05, 2021
Midnight Sun, the newest book in the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer came out one year ago. And with the movies having just been released on Netflix, renewed interest in the franchise is on the rise. We've rounded up seven facts about the books and movies that may surprise you.
After dreaming about a human girl and a vampire who was in love with her but also thristed for her blood, Meyer woke up and wrote the transcript of what became chapter thirteen of the book. Despite having very little writing experience, she finished the first novel in just three months.
Henry Cavill as Edward? Meyer had an entire cast dreamed up before casting began for the first movie including Cavill of Man of Steel fame, but he was ruled out because he was deemed too old at 24. As for Bella, Jennifer Lawrence was in the running for the role long before she rose to fame in movies like Winter's Bone and The Hunger Games. But Kristen Stewart landed the part after her Into the Wild co-star, Emile Hirsch, recommended her to director Catherine Hardwicke.
Meyers has said that each book in the series takes inspiration from a different literary classic. Twilight draws from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. New Moon is based loosely on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Eclipse incorporates aspects of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Breaking Dawn also comes from Shakespeare, with inspiration from both The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Meyers has also listed Orson Scott Card and L. M. Montgomery as literary influences.
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the 2008 movie debuted at $69.6 million. At the time, this was the largest opening for a film directed solely by a woman. Since then, it has been surpassed by 2017's Wonder Woman, which was directed by Patty Jenkins.
Despite producers' entreaties, Stewart cut her hair short to play Joan Jett in The Runaways so she had to wear a wig to film Breaking Dawn: Part 1. Pattinson also donned a wig during reshoots for Breaking Dawn: Part 2.
Actress Nikki Reed who played Rosalie was asked to dye her dark hair blonde for Twilight, but it proved too difficult to maintain and so she relied a wig for subsequent films like Eclipse and New Moon. And as for Taylor Lautner's cringe-worthy hairpiece in the first film, well, there is just no good explanation for that.
Although the books received mixed reviews from critics, they got a largely positive reception. In a review for Time, The Magicians author Lev Grossman wrote, "People do not want to just read Meyer's books; they want to climb inside them and live there." He went on to compare her work to Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings.
Meyer had never set foot in the tiny logging town that she chose as Twilight's setting. She has said she was just looking for somewhere rainy, small, and surrounded by forest when she used Google maps to zero in on the isolated community located in the northeast corner of the Olympic peninsula. Now fans flock to the town and an annual festival called Forever Twilight in Forks is held each September. Fans dress up as their favorite characters and visit the now-famous sites like Forks High School, Newton Hardware Store, and La Push Beach.