How the Twilight Movie Might Have Been Way, Way Different

By  · Published on November 18th, 2009

I love stories about film development and the twists and turns that take it from the world of the possible into the realm of the screen. Imagining Pee Wee Herman in Ghostbusters is hilarious to me.

I didn’t like Twilight at all, but something about it remaining close to the book (or at least not a complete bastardization with the word Twilight stamped on it) makes me happy. And apparently that’s what almost happened.

I interviewed Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter of the first film and the upcoming New Moon, and she said that when it was in Paramount’s hands, the movie was going to be very different:

Was there an urge to stay true to the book for the fans?

It was really – the book itself lent itself to adaptation. Stephanie has created such a rich mythology and such rich characters that I was compelled by the story and wanted to bring that story to the screen. I didn’t really see a need to go off the path of that. I loved the story. Earlier, you know, the galleys of the book had been optioned by Paramount before it was in print, and they had a different philosophy for this book and used it as a launching pad for a different story. I never read that script, but as Stephanie says, ‘It was a great script. It just had nothing to do with my book.’”

When I ask her to expand, she gets the government involved:

I know that the CIA was involved, and the character Bella was a track star or something like that. It’s so contrary to the character Stephanie created.”

So instead of brooding, you get sniper teams and a popular athlete taking down school records. Maybe that would have made for a better film, but it wouldn’t have been the source material, and there’s something to be said for that – especially in a world where so many adaptations and remakes are In Name Only.

What do you think? Did you want a SWAT team?

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