'Twilight' Short Films Will Focus Mainly On This Breakout Character's Backstory, & It Is Long Overdue
For many people, there's a difference between the questions "Are you a fan of Twilight?" and "Are you a fan of Bella Swan?" Despite Bella, played by Kristen Stewart, being the voice through which the Twilight Saga is told for four novels, many Twilight fans aren't as interested in her as they are in Edward Cullen, Jacob Black, or any of the countless other side characters with more interesting tales that populate the book. Chief among those favorites is Alice Cullen, Edward's playful, feminine, psychic adopted sister whose relationship with Jasper Hale was not only adorably predestined but also one of the most stable in the book. So when Stephenie Meyer and Kristen Stewart's contest to create Twilight short films focusing on other characters and their lives before the novel was announced, I have no idea what else they thought was going to happen. Because what actually happened was that when the Twilight screenplays were selected and revealed, half of them were about Alice.
The six screenplays, which can be viewed here, were each written by female writers of at least 13 years of age. These scripts will now be matched with a female director, who will turn them into a five- to ten-minute film that will air on Facebook as part of the The Storytellers: New Voices of Twilight Saga project. The project, which I praised before thanks to its specific focus on giving opportunities and visibility to female filmmakers in a traditionally male-dominated field, is that much closer to being complete and, to be honest, I'm a lot more excited about it considering the stars of these films.
We've Met Before, The Mary Alice Brandon File, and The Groundskeeper are the three scripts that all focus on Alice, telling the story of how she and Jasper really met, of the therapy she suffered under at the asylum she was confined in for her visions, and how she became a vampire to begin with. Then we have Consumed, a script focusing on Volturi member Jane (played in the films by Dakota Fanning) and her life before the fire that Aro rescued her from to turn her and her brother into vampires; Carlisle Meets Garrett, a script starring Dr. Carlisle Cullen and his first meeting with nomadic vampire Garrett; and Sunrise, a script starring Egyptian vampire Benjamin and his mate, Tia.
Wild popularity of Alice aside, I'm glad to hear that we are not only delving into the backstory of vampires from other countries (especially Egypt), but also into the rich backstory of Carlisle, who has been a vampire for so long that he can work as a doctor and save lives without being affected by the scent of all that blood. Whether you liked Bella or not, the fact of the matter is that she was intentionally created to be the least interesting member of the main cast to allow the audience to more easily step into her shoes and explore the Twilight world. If nothing else, these short films will give that world more focus where Bella and the overwhelming love story sucked up those opportunities in the actual novels and films.
Edward and Bella have already gotten their happy ending. It's time to see what else the Twilight saga had to offer before we decide whether or not to dismiss it from our lives all over again. And anything that gives female filmmakers more visibility and more chances to practice their craft can only be a good thing.
Image: Giphy (2); Summit Entertainment