It's been 222 days since the November 20 release of "New Moon." Over 5,300 hours. Some 319,000 minutes. Not that you've been counting or anything. Now here comes "Eclipse" on Wednesday (June 30) to sate your vampire thirst. What's happened in the time since the "Twilight" franchise has been absent from the multiplex?
That's a question we're here to answer with a jam-packed edition of MTV News' cheat sheet. We've pulled together almost everything — every interview, video clip, photo and news update — that we have to offer on this third installment in the series. Read on, and trust us when we say that, afterward, you'll know everything there is to know about what it took to bring "Eclipse" to the big screen.
The Solar System Aligns
The movie history of "Eclipse" goes back to November 2008 — before "Twilight" even opened — when Summit Entertainment optioned the movie rights to "New Moon," "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn." Studio execs probably felt pretty smart when, one week later, "Twilight" opened to $69.6 million in box-office receipts. The phenomenon was under way, and soon, "Eclipse" had a release date. What it didn't yet have was a director. Rumored names included Drew Barrymore and Juan Antonio Bayona, but the job ultimately went to "30 Days of Night" helmer David Slade.
By spring 2009, casting for new roles was under way and the shoot schedule had been revealed, with photography slated to run from August 17 through October 31. By August, of course, the newcomers had signed on: Xavier Samuel as the vampire Riley; Jodelle Ferland as the vampire Bree; Jack Huston as a Depression-era playboy named Royce King; Catalina Sandino Moreno as the vampire Maria; Julia Jones as Leah Clearwater; Tinsel Korey as Emily; and BooBoo Stewart as Seth Clearwater. But the biggest casting move came in July, when Bryce Dallas Howard controversially replaced Rachelle Lefevre in the role of Victoria.
The Stars Give Us Sneak Peeks
As the start of production neared, we began to hear the cast dish dirt on the upcoming film. Taylor Lautner revealed his excitement about working with Slade. Jackson Rathbone and Kellan Lutz spoke about their intense preparation for some fight sequences. And Kristen Stewart got excited about the movie's proposal scene, one of her favorite "Eclipse" scenes
"Well, to decide you're gonna marry someone at 18 is a pretty hefty decision," she told MTV News. "And I didn't want to look stupid. I didn't want it to look like kids getting married. You know what I mean?"
Gazing at "Eclipse"
Filming had barely begun when we got our first look at the cast in action: Howard and Samuel locking lips. Slade also posted pictures on his Twitter account, including a stunning one of Lautner flipping through the air. The first official still arrived in October: Robert Pattinson and Stewart together in a field of wildflowers.
Then in March, the first trailer hit the Web, giving us Pattinson and Stewart together in bed, Lautner without his shirt on and even some acrobatic vampire action. "It's badass," Lutz told MTV News about the footage. "The action really drew me in, and I think the guys are really going to like this movie."
A second trailer arrived the next month, courtesy of Oprah Winfrey's show. If the first trailer was all about Edward, Bella and Jacob's love triangle, then this one focused squarely on violent action. And in June, Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner took the stage at the MTV Movie Awards to present an exclusive clip from the film. More clips followed: Rosalie's advice to Bella; Edward's warning to Jacob; and the Volturi's observation of the newborn vampire army.
The Stars Welcome Us Back
By the summer, the "Eclipse" stars were in full PR mode. We chatted with Elizabeth Reaser, Rathbone, Alex Meraz, Peter Facinelli and many more. We also sat down for extensive conversations with Pattinson, Stewart and Lautner.
"It's my favorite, because it's the most guy-friendly by far," Lautner said of "Eclipse." "It's dangerous. There's a lot of action. The romance is still there, but the action level is stepped up way more. It's great."
Last Wednesday marked the film's glittering red-carpet premiere in Los Angeles, which MTV News streamed live. Stewart chatted about her "passion" for the franchise, and Pattinson likened the end of the series to "divorcing someone."
But just one premiere ain't enough for the "Eclipse" kids. On Monday night, Stewart and Lautner stopped by a secret screening in New York, and, of course, MTV News was on hand to chat with the stars once again. After months of shooting and publicity rounds, with the film's release just hours away, the talk turned to lighter topics. Stewart revealed that she's actually an accomplished chef, while Lautner said you will never see him join up for a role in a big-screen musical.
"No," he laughed. "I mean, people actually tell me that I can [sing], but I think they're just being nice — because I definitely can't! No 'Hairspray 2'!"
Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."
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