Bill Condon to Twihard Nation: I want you to want me
We live in odd times. It used to be that when a director came on to a movie, he had to satisfy his studio, his producers and his screenwriter. (OK, two of the three.) These days, a filmmaker has to make sure he’s square with a movie’s fan base – and before he ever shoots a frame.
So it goes with “Breaking Dawn,” with newly hired director Bill Condon taking to Facebook to make a detailed and at times self-deprecating (“No, there won't be any musical numbers”) plea to the nation of "Twilight."
In the post, Condon does his best to solidify his vampire bona fides. "I'm pretty busy bringing myself up to speed on what you already know by heart: I've read ‘Breaking Dawn’ twice, rewatched Catherine's and Chris's movies 2-3 times each, have all four CDs playing in my car, and have Catherine's notebook, Mark Cotta Vaz's companion books, and even Volume 1 of the graphic novel here on my desk."
Apart from the thought that it must not be pleasant to be Bill Condon right now, the missive stirs another feeling.
Condon isn’t the first director to go proactive with the "Twilight" fan base; Chris Weitz did the same right after he was hired on "New Moon," and that worked out well for him. And the idea of greater interaction between audiences and previously anonymous directors has its virtues.
But there’s also something a little strange, even unseemly, about a director prostrating himself like this. He’s won an Oscar and worked with some of the best actors of this generation, but has to make a (hopefully) embellished claim that he’s “a huge admirer of the already-iconic Kristen, Robert, and Taylor”? And that he plans on making numerous glowing assessments of the “Twilight” canon? ("I hope that this will be the first of many occasions I'll get to check in with you.")
We get that Condon has to post letters like this, if only to head off any possibility of an online revolt. We just cringe a little watching him do it.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Bill Condon. Credit: Writers Guild of America
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