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Bill Condon to Twihard Nation: I want you to want me

May 3, 2010 | 12:55 pm

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.

Condon 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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Comments () | Archives (10)

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Dear Sir,

Please don't diss the new director - yet. If you're questioning Bill's intro to the Twi-hard world then you probably are not acquainted with the fans.

We are fierce, we are passionate and we want it by the book, strictly by the book. And when a Director caters to our whims, we make their movie "The third highest grossing movie in Hollywood history, The Twilight Saga: New Moon won the highest opening day score with $67.2 million, the film's studio Summit Entertainment reported. And Internationally, New Moon grossed $118.1 million, bringing its three-day, worldwide total to $258 million." http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/new-moon-number-one-around-the-world-breaks-records-1826362.html

So see, it's not a bad thing to listen to the fans. We couldn't be more grateful to Chris Weitz for listening to us.And on top of that, we will follow Chris Weitz and all his future endeavors to the ends of the earth.

Pleasing he fans isn't something to be mocked or made ashamed of - oh no, it's the name of the game as far as Breaking Dawn is concerned, and Bill is revealing himself to be a very, very wise man. ;)

I agree what a great thing that directors now have contact with their audience, especially in a series like Twilight where we want it as close to the books as possible.
Its true, we are the ones who will spend the money going to c the movie and ultimately buy it once they come out so why shouldnt we have our say????
Breaking dawn is such a complicated story I think it should be a two part movie so that it wont be rushed and will stay true to the books.

Haha, nice one Christine. Twihards don't even follow Twilight's leading stars movies and your saying they will follow this directors movies.

Condon is 'too good' for Twilight and that's why he doesn't want to screw it up since he recognizes the Twihards will hold a grudge against him for the next ten years if he does.

I don't think it matters what director directs the film since the scripts are all equally awful, courtesy of Rosenberg. I'm glad they are paying the big bucks to get the best directors possible cause the second Twilight was unwatchable. And it will take more than actiony type trailers to get me enthused.

haley,

How can you be so inaccurate regarding Twihards not following the stars films? I have seen almost everything by all of them, thanks to Netflix and Best Buy.

And since you're so adverse to anything "Twilight" it would seem, why bother wasting your energy on anything Twilight and posting negative comments? Find what makes you happy and go create some good energy somewhere. Leave Twilight related things to those who care.

Hey, why not? In the day of Twitter and Facebook, it's always good to put a toe out to feel the water. But they need to replace the crappy screenwriter (Melissa whateverhernameis) first. She's a boulder on his shoulder. Condon would be well advised to "mess" a little with her scripts. I've no doubt that he has been hired to give the franchise some prestige because, let's face it, highest grossing or not, New Moon stunk. Condon would actually do well to sift a bit and listen carefully to some of the fans' comments on that Facebook site he posted on. They are way, way more aware of the mistakes made by Chris Weitz and Catherine Hardwicke in the previous two movies. He also needs to read ALL the books... not just watch the movies. It's gonna be a hard road from here on out for him, judging by David Slade's tweets ;)... so all the best, Bill!

I wonder if he's aware of just how the series ends.

I'll be amazaed if the movie is allowed to stay that way when it's filmed (especially if its broken into two films). How can you have two opposed vampire groups have a climatic stand-off and not fight...at all...not one fist thrown....nothing? The only battle occurs mentally; I'm not joking. How is that going to appear? Enjoy the fights in Eclipse because it's all downhill from there. The ending will for Dawn will change or it'll be laughed out of the theater. Watch and see.

When I heard the names that were on table about BD I was impressed (and hopeful). And when Condon was announced as the frontrunner, I was even more, since he's an Oscar-winning screenwriters (and a decent screenwriter is what the Twilight franchise -and especially BD- needs). And then they announced that Stephenie Meyer (the books' writer) is producing and that they won't fire the damn Melissa Rosenberg. And then all hope was dead.

Seriously, I hope that someone like Condon would take artistic liscense (as much as he could concerning all the Twi-hards) and change some disturbing parts of the books. But no, no, no. I see New Moon rising again. Destinated solely to the fans and no one else. And BD is seriously one of the worst books out there. I'm just terrified of the outcome of this movie. I hope -at least- he pulls something good out of these actors and make it looks decent, despite the awful plot.

BD is great book with great ending to the twilight series. SM is a good author who has given a positive spin on things! Love her, Love her series!!

I understand that it must be a daunting task to make every fan happy with the transition from book to film. But it would be nice if you could manage to stay
TRUE to the written word. With the fan base this series holds it is impossible to include everyone's favorite scene (with the exception of the obvious ones)
but it would be nice if you didn't embellish on the ones you do manage to fit in.With"Eclipse" there were scenes that were never even in the book. For example Bella's speach at the end and Edward's remark about it not being just about him. If you read the book there is one chapter that addresses the fact that there is not point to forever w/o him. For me it made Bella seem very selfish. That it was to an extent all about being a vampire, "because it's where she belonged, it was her world too" so even if she couldn't be with Edward for some reason,she still needed to be immortal because she didn't fit in any where else. Instead of Edward being her true love it made it seem like he was a means to an end. But oh yeah a great fringe benefit. New Moon lead you to believe that there was no point to one existing w/o the other,but Eclipse made me feel as though it was all about what Bella wanted and to hell with Edward's feelings. Not very Romeo and Juliet if you ask me. My simple request, just be true to the written words of the book. Shorten,lengthen,inhance if you must, but don't rewrite the emotions of the characters because that is what the books are all about, the fact that the one needs the other w/o that there is no point in living.

I agree with Christine. It's important for a director to reach out to the fans especially in a fandom like this. Why are you mocking that ?
And for the little hater on the bottom please put your energy into something positive please !


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