SAN DIEGO — "Twilight" just rocked Hall H at Comic-Con, and MTV News was backstage as the film's cast and crew nervously prepared to meet the crowd of 6,500 fans who could only be described as thundering.After cheering for the logo, the crowd began chanting "Twilight! Twilight!" as Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and the others told us moments before going onstage that they had never heard anything like it. (Read our pre-panel interview with Pattinson here.) And they came with some big bombshells to drop.
Lautner came out to huge applause, followed by Cam Gigandet, Kristen Stewart and an eardrum-shattering roar for Pattinson. Author Stephenie Meyer and director Catherine Hardwicke were next, and if there was any doubt a phenomenon was in full effect, it had been erased.
"All of these screaming people want to see the right movie," Meyer explained over the roars of the Twilighters. "We got the right company, the right script and the right cast."
"I don't know if I was living under a big boulder rock," a noticeably darker-haired Stewart said, nibbling on her fingernails as she looked over the crowd. "But I hadn't heard of the book until Catherine came to me."
Most of what Pattinson had to say was overwhelmed by screams of "We love you, Robert!"
"This is the first time I've seen them," Spunk Ransom grinned, looking out at the massive crowd. "It hurts me to think about myself. I love the fact that [Edward is] the hero of the book, but he denies it."
A huge line of fans yielded questions such as: "I want to know what it's like to portray super-hot vampires," "How does it feel to know that the fate of your character has already been decided?" and "I just needed a reason to come up and talk to you, Robert."
Asked about the soundtrack, Catherine revealed big news: "We just got a Muse song." She then teased, "And we have another great song. I bet you know what it is."
As the crowd erupted over the obvious reference to "Bella's Lullaby," Hardwicke fell short of confirming what MTV News has already reported: "Rob is a great musician," she beamed. "That's all I can say." (After the panel, Hardwicke and Meyer confirmed to MTV News that Pattinson did indeed compose "Bella's Lullaby" — as well as two other songs for the movie!)
"The lullaby thing, I just made [it] up on the spot during the scene," Pattinson laughed. "During the scene, I drifted into the piano playing. I guess it just comes from somewhere."
"We got to terrorize Edward and Bella," Rachelle Lefevre said of her favorite part of shooting. "And we had a really good time doing it."
As Meyer and Hardwicke giggled, the crowd cheered outrageously the first time the words "Bella", "Twilight Moms," "Dazzled" and "Catherine's bed" were mentioned. (This was an excitable bunch, after all. Moments after the panel, one particularly overzealous fan tried to storm into a secure area to get to Pattinson before being led away in handcuffs.)
The stars also unveiled an extended scene from the ballet-school battle, featuring much more footage of James terrorizing Bella. It shows her being tortured with the video camera, her leg getting banged up and Edward coming to the rescue. As the battle hit its stride, the crowd went absolutely bonkers. The clip ends with Bella being bitten.
"The character of James posed an interesting challenge," Gigandet said. "What it was, for me, was that heartbreaking misunderstanding — seeing something you'll never have."
"As you can see, I'm a little nervous," Stewart said to the crowd, as a fan was heard screaming: "Don't be nervous, Kristen. We love you!"
"Is it boxers, briefs or nothing?" one particularly sassy fan asked Pattinson as the cast stayed quiet. "Kristen, do you know?"
Another fan asked: "Why did you put so many hot guys in the movie?"
"Because that's how I write them," Meyer responded.
One of the best moments, however, may have been when a Twilighter screamed: "I love you, Robert!" and he coolly responded, "Good."
Giving the crowd exactly what it wanted to hear, Gigandet added: "We're looking forward to bringing your book to life!"
Every Tuesday is "Twilight" Tuesday here at MTV News! Check back here each and every week for the hottest scoop on the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's beloved vampire series, and we'll still bring you breaking "Twilight" news throughout the rest of the week. And make sure you check out the MTV Movies Blog for our ongoing "Twilight" discussions each and every day.
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[This story was originally published at 6:56 p.m. ET on 07.24.08]