SAN DIEGO — Just when anticipation for November’s release of [movie id="390378"]“New Moon”[/movie] didn’t seem like it could get any higher, the new footage presented by the stars of the film at Comic-Con sent the crowded room of Twilighters into a whole new level of vampire frenzy.
As soon as the “Twilight” portion of Summit Entertainment’s panel began, fans started screaming and it didn’t stop once director Chris Weitz was joined onstage by Ashley Greene, [movieperson id="262629"]Kristen Stewart[/movieperson], [movieperson id="373803"]Taylor Lautner[/movieperson] and [movieperson id="365131"]Robert Pattinson[/movieperson].
The room of mostly female fans erupted into deafening screams when Lautner and Pattinson entered, with dozens of them yelling, “I love you, Rob!” or “I love you, Taylor!”
As the stars were asked about the filming of the movie, Lautner talked about how important his character’s various transformations were to the way he approached the role.
“Jacob goes through a lot in this movie — he transforms mentally and emotionally,” Lautner explained. “The most challenging for me was physically, so I had a lot of hard work cut out for me after filming ‘Twilight.’ I worked really hard to transform Jacob’s body so I could portray him correctly for all you guys. And I hope you guys are pleased when you see the results.”
Pattinson, on the other hand, joked that he didn’t have to do a lot of preparation for the scenes where he is a hallucination of Bella’s imagination. “Chris and the special-effects team designed a thing that basically allowed me to stand on a green box and look and stay basically expressionless,” he laughed.
Because she loses Edward in “New Moon,” Bella is almost insane afterward. But Stewart said she thinks most people can identify with the experience in some way.
“I don’t think you really truly know yourself unless you get to a point that’s as low as she gets in this,” she said.
Stewart said it was difficult for her to play the role of Bella in this movie because it was so emotional, but credited Weitz for helping her get through the experience.
“Chris is sort of the perfect guy to have done this. In the first one [with director] Catherine [Hardwicke] … everything was impulsive and natural and fast,” she said. “And in this case, we had more time to think … it was a little more cerebral. And considering what I had to go through in the movie, he’s one of the most compassionate, considerate people I’ve ever met. He made it so easy.”
Weitz shared two sets of footage from the film, and both Jacob’s transformation and Bella’s hallucination were the subject of the first scene shown. Readers will remember the scene from the book when Jacob helps Bella ride her rebuilt motorcycle for the first time.
The footage made it clear that if fans thought there was a lot of sexual tension between Pattinson and Stewart in Twilight, they’re going to see even more of it when Lautner’s character begins his transformation into Bella’s best friend.
In the footage, Bella gets on the motorcycle and then looks in Jacob’s eyes as he puts his hands on hers. Once she starts the bike, she begins to see Edward as a vision, telling her to stop as she rides it defiantly. She ends up falling and after Jacob rushes to her side, he sees the blood on her forehead.
The entire room of “Twilight” fans erupted in shrieks as the scene then showed Jacob removing his shirt to stop the bleeding. As Jacob treats her wound, Bella looks up at him and says, “You sure are beautiful.”
Jacob smiles and shakes his head. “How hard did you hit your head?”
The second set of footage also got screams of approval. A fan favorite from the books, it was the scene in Italy where Alice drives Bella to save Edward from an act of desperation. After riding in the yellow Porsche so familiar to “Twilight” fans, Bella runs from the car through a crowded celebration, running through the town square’s fountain when she sees Edward removing his shirt and stepping into the sun.
“Stop! Stop!” she yells. “Edward! Don’t!”
After the footage was shown, Weitz revealed a few surprises of his own. During the making of the film, Stewart twisted her ankle. And one line in the film is delivered by Jacob — in the Quileute language.
“I’m excited for you guys to hear it,” Lautner said. “It’s kind of fun.”
The director also told the audience that there is a lot more CGI and intense action in “New Moon” than there was in the first movie.
“And Taylor did every single stunt that he could possibly get his hands on. Every stunt except the ones that the insurance company said he wasn’t allowed to do,” Weitz said. “Really, if Jacob is doing something impressive in the film, it’s pretty much Taylor doing it.
“And Rob just kind of stood there looking good, basically,” the director joked to another round of screams from fans.
During the question-and-answer period, Pattinson and Stewart both alluded to all the attention they’ve been getting from fans and the media. When one fan asked the stars how they’ve grown since doing “Twilight,” Pattinson used what he called “a bad analogy” for the change he’s experienced since becoming so well-known.
“You just walk down the street and you just step on a stone,” he said in his British accent, reaching nervously for his hair. “And you’re just trying not to drown afterward. That’s my life.”
When another fan asked what each of the panel members were looking forward to filming in future movies, Stewart leaned forward and said, “I can’t wait to actually get pregnant,” she said with a laugh, alluding to not only Bella’s future pregnancy, but also the fact that one Australian tabloid ran a story saying she was pregnant with Pattinson’s child. The crowd knew what she meant and cheered in support.
Greene said she’s looking forward to working with director David Slade, who is slated to direct “Eclipse,” which starts filming next month. “I’m excited about this whole intense fight scene we’re supposed to have,” she said.
Lautner said he’s excited for the love triangle that builds in “Eclipse.” “And when me and this guy,” he said, pointing toward Pattinson beside him, “have to try to become friends to protect Bella.”
After the crowd yelled in support, Lautner admitted, “The sleeping bag scene! The sleeping bag scene! Yes!”
Weitz and the cast all acknowledged the fans several times, with Weitz saying it was a transformative experience for him professionally.
“It’s been a tremendously rejuvenating process to me,” he said. “I remember now how fun it is to make a film.”
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