It was a gamble that paid off in a big way for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but may have helped sink the "Matrix" films. As for the "Back to the Future" flicks, well, that battle continues to rage on. Now, the "Twilight" series is the latest blockbuster franchise making plans to shoot multiple sequels at the same time.
"It's been discussed," producer Greg Mooradian revealed to MTV News. "I can't tell you we're at that place yet, but it's definitely been discussed."
The advantages to such a plan are obvious: Rather than building sets and tearing them down only to be re-built a few years later, they can film multiple scenes; instead of selling vehicles and re-buying them (such as Carlisle Cullen's Mercedes, which can be seen here), they can hold on to them; rather than having thirty-year-old actors pretending to still be in high school, they can stay the same age in each film.
"Our vampires can't age…if they were like 45, people would say 'What's up?'" laughed director Catherine Hardwicke, citing one of the main problems with filming Stephenie Meyer's "New Moon" and "Eclipse" novels. "[Filming them together] could be the case. Then, you just get it done."
The main actors indicated to us that they are signed on for sequels, and Hardwicke said she hopes to return as well. "We've got our fingers crossed," she beamed. "If the fans show up for this one, we'll get to make more."
Mooradian explained that as a producer, his goal is to get the movies done right, but also to get them on film quickly enough to maintain Meyer's vision of perpetually-teenaged vampires. "We're going to go as fast as humanly possible, especially since there are at least four stories to tell," he insisted, factoring in the "Breaking Dawn" sequel due to be published in August. "We'd like to keep a real consistency as to how quickly we are able to do it. Some of the other stories are even bigger productions, so they require more prep time."
Eyeballing such near-annual events as the "Harry Potter" films, Mooradian indicated that if "Twilight" is a hit, the sequels will go into production almost immediately. "The goal is to keep it moving quickly," he explained. "[That will] give the audience a sense of knowing that the next installment is going to come at a really specific increment of time."
Reached for comment, Stephenie Meyer said that she supports the idea of shooting the sequels simultaneously. "I think that would probably be a smart way to do it," she explained. "It makes sense in a world where actors are actually aging, and our characters aren't. That makes a lot of sense to me, but of course, we are still negotiating the contract on that."
If Meyer, Mooradian and crew can come to an agreement, and moviegoers turn out in record numbers, look for Twilighters to be over the (New?) moon with a marathon shoot.
"[We like the idea of] shooting them back to back, and shooting them simultaneously as they did with ‘Lord of the Rings'," the producer explained. "From a production standpoint, it's a great thing to do. But it's quite an undertaking."
Here's your "Twilight Tuesday" question of the week, gang: Would you like to see the sequels filmed at the same time, or would you rather have everyone take a few years off to catch their breath in-between movies?