Millions of Edward Cullen enthusiasts know Stephenie Meyer as the woman behind their literary love, but the “Twilight” author’s taken a bit of a break from her own writing to bring another author’s novel to the big screen.
Enter “Austenland,” the 2007 novel by Stephenie’s friend Shannon Hale. The story follows 30-something Jane Hayes, who is so enamored of “Pride and Prejudice” suitor Mark Darcy that she takes to an Austen-themed retreat to try and experience the “real thing” for herself. Stephenie knew the story would be perfect for the silver screen, so she created her Fickle Fish production company to make it happen.
“It came about kind of backwards,” Stephenie explained to MTV News’ Josh Horowitz. “I read it years and years ago, I think before ’New Moon’ was out, and really loved it, and just said, ’Oh, this is so great. It’d be such a great movie. We should do that some day,’ because I’m friends with the author. And she’s like, ’Totally, in 10 years with a camcorder, we’ll go to England and just film it on the fly. And then [screenwriter/director] Jerusha Hess got involved, and then we were like, ’Now we’re professional! Now it’s really going to happen with real cameras!'”
And it wasn’t just Stephenie’s friendship with Shannon that prompted the production; she was genuinely intrigued with the concept of the Regency-era retreat.
“It’s very cinematic. You read it, and it’s like you see it,” she said. “I immediately felt two desires: 1. To actually go this place. For it to be real because I wanted to go. And then, 2. To see it the way I was seeing it in my head. To see it on a screen. There’s just something about it that you want to be in it.”
Not to mention Stephenie felt a connection to the Tao a fanaticism, having met her fair share of acolytes during the “Twilight” craze.
“If I’d read it a few years before I did, I might of thought it was unrealistic,” she said.
But then came the Edward Cullen body pillow.
“Austenland” opens in New York and L.A. on Friday.
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