'Twilight': 10 reasons 'Breaking Dawn' should not be made into a movie
While “Twilight” fans begin to debate the issues facing the filming of “New Moon" -- the next installment in Stephenie Meyer’s teen vampire series involving werewolves and a growth spurt that will require actor Taylor Lautner to appear 6'5" and 25 years old on screen -- an even more urgent problem nags:
The problem with “Breaking Dawn.”
With "Twilight" having banked $70.55 million in its first weekend of release, Summit Entertainment has already snatched up rights to the next two books in Meyer’s saga, “New Moon” and “Eclipse,” and is negotiating for the series-ending “Breaking Dawn.” Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward, has said he's only signed up to star in the next two films, and the fourth book has had little mention in the media when it comes to reports concerning "Twilight" as a movie franchise.
Perhaps the powers that be are figuring out a way to end the movie series as a trilogy.
Why? Because whether you loved or hated it, “Breaking Dawn” poses more than a few problems for the big screen. Even barring the very divided reaction from Meyer’s fan base over the final book, “Breaking Dawn” contains several head-scratching scenes and themes. (Full disclosure: As a “Twilight” fan, I thought Meyer could have done better.) The following are 10 reasons the book would be a tough-to-film movie.
(This list is one big spoiler, so please don’t read further if you haven’t read the book.)
Bella and Edward get married by Page 49.
There goes your love triangle. You can retire those Team Edward and Team Jacob shirts now. Also remember, Edward is forever 17 and Bella’s 18. A teenage wedding!
After three books’ worth of buildup, Bella and Edward finally have sex — but we get a fade to black?
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated Meyer’s post-coital details: the ripped-apart pillowcases and feathers in Bella’s hair, her black-and-blue bruises, the broken headboard. If the movie just has to be rated PG-13, then I guess it’s the only way.
But after more than 1,500 pages of chaste kisses, we’re rewarded with fade-out after fade-out on their honeymoon? Instead we get morning-after fried egg breakfasts and Edward’s nonstop agonizing over having finally bedded his bride. Hardly satisfying.
Then Bella gets pregnant.
By Page 118 (in a 754-page book) Bella is with child. At this point, the film would already be worse than a Lifetime movie of the week.
What follows are chapters and chapters of the half-vampire, half-human baby making life violently uncomfortable for Bella, which required Meyer to let Jacob narrate the entire middle chunk of the book. So in the final movie, we’d shift our focus from Bella to Jacob?
Edward goes from being the man of every girl’s dreams to a man in need…
…of some guts, some personality, something that doesn’t read pathetic. Throughout “Breaking Dawn” he's guilt-ridden over his love for Bella, even more so than in the other books. That’s admittedly difficult to believe, but true.
While Bella is bedridden, trying to keep alive the half-human, half-vampire baby eating its way through her belly, we get this choice scene in which a desperate Edward begs Jacob to offer Bella the latter’s baby-making services. (I guess half-werewolf, half-human babies are safer?) If you’d blocked that moment, here it is:
“I don’t care about anything but keeping her alive,” he said, suddenly focused now. “If it’s a child she wants, she can have it. She can have half a dozen babies. Anything she wants.” He paused for one beat. “She can have puppies if that’s what it takes.”
That's right. He said "puppies."
When she gives birth, Edward rips open Bella’s stomach with his teeth to get the baby out.
It's a bloody and gruesome birth. And what does the little bugger do once she’s out? Sinks her half-vampire teeth into mom’s chest, that’s what. What follows is an equally bloody and gruesome transformation of our teenage heroine into a vampire. How any of the birth scene gets magically transformed into a PG-13 moment is anyone’s guess.
Bella names her baby Renesmee.
A blend of Renee (the name of Bella’s mom) and Esme (the name of Edward’s). Renesmee.
How will Kristen Stewart, she who fights against dumb dialogue, deal with such a name? Will she rename the kid? How will audiences not blindly obsessed with Stephenie Meyer’s prose react to hearing it? It just can’t happen. But the name’s the least of it after…
Jacob falls in love with her.
Yes, Jacob imprints on newborn Renesmee. Meyer introduced the concept of imprinting, in which werewolves become tied to their true loves through some sort of love-at-first-sight kismet, in her earlier books. But it’s even creepier when Jacob goes from his mad obsession with Bella to one over her daughter. Her half-vampire daughter.
Meanwhile, Bella’s transformation into a vampire requires no effort on her part at all.
Other humans that get turned? It’s tough. They want bona fide human blood and lots of it. Bella? She’s cool to snack on deer. She doesn’t have the urge to accidentally chomp down on her human dad. And she’s quicker, faster and stronger than all the Cullen men. There’s no struggle to get what she wants.
When it looks like things are heating up between the Cullens and the big bad ruling vamps, the Volturi, over the existence of Renesmee -- the Volturi want her dead -- the Cullens gather friends, they strategize, they train for war. And it all ends…
…not when Bella, and her special protective power, save the day –- she doesn’t! -- but when little Alice reappears with a tale of another half-human, half-vampire named Nahuel living happily abroad. Nahuel’s not harmful at all, she explains, so there’s no need to fight.
Did I say war? I meant peaceful gathering in the forest.
After hearing the explanation, the Volturi make a peaceful exit. Head bad vamp Aro even bids the Cullen clan a fond farewell: “I’m so glad this could be resolved without violence,” he said sweetly. “My friend, Carlisle –- how please I am to call you friend again! … Perhaps, in time, you will forgive me.”
And there begins the final chapter (titled “Happily Ever After,” natch.)
Here’s where you’re free to agree or tell me off in the comments below. I am especially curious to know what fans of “Breaking Dawn” think? How would you fix or get around some of these issues while remaining true to the text?
-- Denise Martin
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Photo credit: Summit Entertainment