At a press conference to promote the upcoming release of the film, director David Slade, screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and producer Wyck Godfrey talked about exploring the characters and the mythology more deeply in Eclipse. As the one responsible for writing the adaptations, Melissa Rosenberg also gave some insight as to what fans can expect from a two-part Breaking Dawn.
Q: David, you were working with a ready-made cast for Eclipse. How did you help establish what would be expected of their characters for this film?
David: What I did was see each one of the actors, individually. We had one-on-one meetings. The first time, I would just listen to everything they told me about their characters and everything they thought about their characters. Then, we’d meet again and talk about the script, also one-on-one. Then, we’d meet a third time and a fourth time. By that time, we were talking about all the ideas that we were incorporating into that character and story. And then, the final stage was to go into an ensemble rehearsal, where all the actors came together, and we didn’t talk about character anymore. We talked about content and story. That was how I chose to go about it.
Q: Do you have any special features or extras planned for the DVD?
Wyck: There’s the nude scene we shot that wasn’t in the book. No. I don’t know. With any film, you go through the process of editing it down to its fighting weight and, ultimately, you’re going to have some scenes that didn’t end up in the movie.
David: There were a number of scenes which just felt excessive, in terms of beating the same story, but some of them were really nice.
Wyck: There was a great scene with Angela (Christian Serratos) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) that is really just two girls talking about guy troubles. It’s really, really sweet, but it took place in a section of the movie that we really had to cut.
David: What happens is that the film has its own momentum from the script. When you start going, by the time you hit the third act, you’re just blasting along, and that scene just came to a stop. But, it’s a beautiful scene that’s beautifully performed, and it’ll be a nice little bonus for fans of the book.
Wyck: I think there’s going to be a lot of classic behind-the-scenes stuff, where you’re going to get to see how we did most of the action and stunts in the movie, and a lot of the CG process. That stuff will flesh out the experience for audiences that do like to go behind the camera and see how it’s all done.
Melissa: It’s interesting, when I did the first Twilight movie, I actually wrote it before it was cast. I was writing in a vacuum, and it actually had a lot of humor in it. And then, we realized, as we got it on actors, that it just wasn’t appropriate. But, now the actors are more comfortable with it and I think the story lends itself to that. Wyck actually came up with the best line in the movie, “Does he own a shirt?” There’s a confidence level in the storytelling now.
Q: What will be the biggest challenge of splitting the movies for Breaking Dawn?
Melissa: They’re very dense with mythology. There are a lot of characters and a lot of detail, and it’s just really about who you choose to pull forward. It was a lot of the same stuff that I had to do with Twilight.
Q: Are there more backstories to come?
Melissa: There are more backstories to come, and there is an expansion of the mythology. All these different characters are being introduced, and Stephenie has developed a really intricate mythology that is very detailed, which is why it’s so much fun to play in her world.
Q: Some people have said that Breaking Dawn is unfilmable and not as good a book as the others. How do you approach it to make it work?
Melissa: I believe it is filmable and I believe there is a great story to be told in that. It was a very bold move, what Stephenie did and where she took her characters. She had them grow up, get married and have children, and had Bella realize ultimate potential of becoming a vampire. It was a very bold move. I think it lost some of the audience who wanted to continue the fantasies and the desire. Now, she’s got it all, so what do you do with it? It’s a very different kind of movie and a different kind of story. There’s definitely material enough for two movies, but for the first time, there is also a little breathing room. There’s room to explore a little bit and to expand. I’m excited about that.