Perception is everything in Hollywood, up to and including being more important than reality. When a film finishes principal photography, as Summit Entertainment’s Twilight did a few months ago, it’s generally assumed to have moved smoothly into post production. When a film calls back members of the cast for multiple reshoots and/or additional scenes, as Summit Entertainment’s Twilight is doing this week, it’s generally assumed that someone in a suit watched some footage and started to sweat over the final product… especially when the film’s release date is less than three months away.
MTV.com is reporting that director Catherine Hardwicke and members of the cast are reuniting this week to film additional scenes for what hopes to be the first of a four-film franchise. Peter Facinelli, who plays Carlisle, the patriarch of the Cullen clan, says his reshoot is a flashback. “It gives us a little bit of history of the Cullen family,” he said. “They are just shooting a couple of different added scenes, and the scene I’m in, I can tell you it’s me and Robert Pattinson… Rosalie (Nikki Reed) and Emmett (Kellan Lutz) are in that scene.” Taylor Lautner, who plays werewolf Jacob Black (ironic as Lautner is completely hairless in real life), said his new scene takes place at the film’s finale. “Well, I am going to be in the prom scene now, at the very end of the film,” he said. “At first we didn’t film that, and now some people are saying they want to see a bit more of Jacob, and they want him in the prom scene at the end.”
So do these reshoots portend trouble for Twilight? Are the executives at Summit starting to feel the pressure from months of hype and online babble? From the studio’s perspective, they have a potential cash cow on their hands that could fund the next several years of Summit productions, and that license to print money is theirs to capitalize on or screw up. Several recent films underwent reshoots uncomfortably close to their release dates, most notably Wanted and Hancock, and both of them went on to become box office hits.
Facinelli chose a positive angle for the news, saying “They liked it so much, they are bringing us back for some encore time, to beef it up… a little salt and pepper.” Non-sensical metaphor aside, he may be correct. The flipside to Summit being concerned with what they see in the editing room is that they’re loving Hardwicke’s vision of the Stephenie Meyer novel and want to make it even bigger and better. Twilight fans are notorious nitpickers, and Summit knows that while some dissenters are to be expected, they need to make the film the fans want to see. Regardless of the film’s quality, Twilight is going to open huge on November 21st. Where it goes after that is anyone’s guess.