Over the weekend, director Bill Condon broke his silence on “Breaking Dawn,” his upcoming adaptation of the fourth and final novel in the “Twilight” series. In an open letter posted on Facebook, Condon introduced himself to the legions of “Twilight” fans and spoke about his current level of familiarity with the adventures of Bella Swan, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black.
“I’ve read ’Breaking Dawn’ twice, re-watched [’Twilight’ and ’New Moon’] 2-3 times each, have all four CDs playing in my car, and have Catherine’s notebook, Mark Cotta Vaz’s companion books, and even Volume 1 of the graphic novel here on my desk,” Condon said of his growing collection of “Twilight” research material. “I realize that this barely qualifies me for ’newborn’ status in the universe you’ve been living inside for a few years now, but a guy’s gotta start somewhere.”
Condon, who admitted to being a fan of vampires since watching prime-time soap “Dark Shadows” as a kid, said that it’s not difficult to see why “Twilight” has become such a fixture in popular culture. “For me, [Stephenie Meyer’s] characters are simultaneously timeless, yet very modern,” he said. “Rooted in a beautiful, real landscape with a great sense of place, Bella, Edward, Jacob, and the rest of the Forks/ La Push menagerie, experience emotions that are primal, and universal: desire, despair, jealousy — and it all comes to fruition in ’Breaking Dawn.’ This is a final chapter in the best sense; not just wide in scope and scale, but emotionally charged and intense throughout.”
The “Dreamgirls” director concluded his letter by inviting questions and comments from “Twilight” fans and promising that he plans to check in regularly with fans as he and his crew work to bring “Breaking Dawn” to the big screen. Unsurprisingly, more than 3,000 fans have replied to the letter since Friday, with many comments inquiring about dividing “Breaking Dawn” into two films and whether or not the movie will be shot in 3-D .
” ’Breaking Dawn’ is the longest book out of the four books and just wanted to say will you please keep that in mind too,” Summer Blake wrote on Facebook. “Please don’t cut out half of what goes on to make the movie shorter.”
“Would you be able to confirm or deny reports of ’Breaking Dawn’ being in 3-D? I really hope it will not. I think it would destroy the series that so many people love,” wrote Kathi on TwilightSource.com. “I do hope ’Breaking Dawn’ is made into two movies to give the characters the proper amount of time to truly finish the journey.”
Judging from initial responses, many fans have embraced Condon due to his forthcoming approach and his apparent understanding of the source material. On TwilightersAnonymous.com, Jenni Brid wrote: “Bill Condon knows how to draw the best out of his actors and can show the [true] depths of the characters. As a director, this man is a genius when there are so few of them in the world of film today.”
Condon’s open letter echoes the established tradition of “Twilight” directors speaking directly to the fans. Following the announcement of his involvement in “New Moon,” director Chris Weitz wrote to fans to assuage fears regarding the departure of “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke. “I can say that I will devote myself to making the very best and most faithful version of ’New Moon’ that can be brought to the screen,” he wrote in 2008.
In 2009, “Eclipse” director David Slade reached out to fans by way of Twilight Lexicon to address controversial comments he made about the “Twilight” franchise, saying: “When I made these comments, I had neither seen the film nor read the books. I was promoting a comedy short film that I had made for Xbox and every pop culture subject was seen as a possible comedy target. I was being silly and none of the statements were from the heart.”
Does Bill Condon’s open letter give you more confidence in what he’ll do with “Breaking Dawn”? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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