VENICE, California — In the time since it was first revealed by MTV last year, it has gone on to become one of the most famous lines in the [movie id="369195"]“Twilight”[/movie] world.
“You’d better hold on tight, spider monkey.”
And while an actual spider monkey isn’t nearly as cute as Kristen Stewart, the phrase has taken on a life of its own, inspiring MySpace pages, T-shirts, and dozens of other fan tributes. Now, “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke is cluing fans in on the eight other lines that nearly became [movieperson id="365131"]Robert Pattinson[/movieperson] dialogue in that “spider monkey” scene.
“There’s some stuff in here like … well, like the ‘Hold on tight, spider monkey’ line,” laughed Hardwicke last week when we visited her house to see the fabled rooms where she held her “Twilight” casting sessions. In the kitchen’s glass case, she showed us a dog-eared copy of her shooting script — with the “spider monkey” line scribbled into a margin.
“That would be [written in] the night before,” Hardwicke remembered of the evening before she shot the now-famous scene where [movieperson id="262629"]Kristen Stewart’s[/movieperson] Bella hops on the back of Pattinson’s Edward, getting an eye-opening glimpse at his superhuman powers as they frolic through the woods together. “I woke up in the middle of the night. I thought, ‘They’re going to be climbing that tree, and they’re not going to have anything to say. It’s just going to be another scene of them looking into each other’s eyes.’ ”
Unfortunately, the writers’ strike had begun, and “Twilight” screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg was no longer available to provide dialogue. “So I typed up, like, 10 ideas,” Hardwicke recalled. “And thought, ‘OK, maybe they could say this …’ ”
At this point during our interview, Hardwicke went over to her computer and printed out a sheet from her personal archives. Titled “Sc. 86 pt. DIALOGUE ALTERNATIVES,” the sheet lists the eight other options that Hardwicke wrote that evening.
“I gave it to Rob, the whole list,” she explained. “And I said, ‘Rob, which one do you want to say?’ And he goes, ‘I want to say the spider-monkey one.’ ”
Hardwicke’s unused lines range from simplistic to silly, over-the-top to right on target. Now, we give you a peek at some of the alternative lines that Pattinson did not select:
Edward: You’re not scared of heights, are you?
Bella: Not that I know of …
Edward: Hold on tight …
Bella: Don’t worry …
Edward: Wrap your legs around me like a spider monkey.
Edward: Got a good grip? Don’t let go.
Bella: No chance of that, buddy.
Edward: Prepare for liftoff …
Reading over her unchosen chunks of dialogue, Hardwicke told us that she was glad Rob picked the now-immortal “spider monkey” line. “It’s a fun line,” she grinned. “Thank god he picked that one.”
To read the three remaining “spider monkey” alternatives that didn’t make the cut — including the line that Harwdicke wanted to include as a tribute to the movie “All About Eve” — head on over to the MTV Movies Blog. There, you can vote on which lines are real — and which is the fake one that we’ve thrown in there for fun. On Monday, the fake will be revealed.
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.