Article by Alexandra Gambardella
"Harry Potter" did it for wizards, "Lord of the Rings" won big for hobbits, and "Narnia" brought it home for the talking woodland creatures. But can a soon-to-shoot movie similarly turn the creaky film cliché of vampires into the next multimillion-dollar fantasy flick franchise?
"The movie is called 'Twilight,'" 17-year-old "Into the Wild" actress Kristen Stewart beamed when we recently spoke to her. "['Lords of Dogtown' filmmaker] Catherine Hardwicke is directing it in Washington. It's based on a book that's pretty popular [among] young adult, high school kids."
Although Stewart and co-star Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory!) will soon film only the first movie, they're already talking about turning the vampire storyline into a series that really sucks. And since the latest book sold over 150,000 copies in its first day alone, Bella and Edward fans everywhere are already counting down the months until the film's release.
"People really love these books," said Stewart. "Right now it's a trilogy, and a fourth book is coming out, so hopefully we'll get to shoot all four."
For those who haven't yet been bitten, "Twilight" will feature Stewart as Bella Swan, a teenage girl whose life gets turned upside-down after she meets and falls in love with a vampire. Additional names will be cast in the next few weeks, but according to the actress, 21-year-old Pattinson is already sinking his teeth into the role of Edward.
"He's so good and he's so soulful and he's just not a liar — you can feel pain from him," Stewart cooed. "The cool thing about the story is that it's a seemingly wonderful fantasy — let's fall in love with vampires and live forever — but it's so much harder than that. Imagine living forever. Living one life is hard enough."
But don't get fooled into thinking this is going to be "The Notebook" for the undead. “The main character is like, superhuman," Stewart said of the action scenes in the script. "He's a vampire, but with really [heightened powers]; he can run faster than a car can drive, and he's super strong. He throws me over his back [in one scene], right before he's going to tell me that he's a vampire, and then he runs over the treetops. And we're going to be in real treetops; we're not just going to CGI it. We actually get to go up there, and that's what I'm stoked on.”
"It's a pretty triumphant love story," Stewart concluded, looking forward to stepping in front of the cameras. "It's gonna take a while, and it [deserves to be] at least a series of three."
UPDATE (2.28.08): 'Twilight' Co-Star Rachelle Lefevre Talks Treetop Controversy!