FearNet Exclusive: David Slade Talks Vampire Decapitations and What Scared the MPAA
After he made the gory bloodsucker pic 30 Days of Night, nobody expected David Slade’s next vampire flick to be, well, a Twilight movie. But as producer Wyck Godfrey told me, Slade’s unique background was exactly what made him the right man to helm the third film in the Twilight Saga, the scariest, most violent, and most vampire-infested installment in the franchise.
Was there a discernable transition making the jump from your earlier, R-rated genre work to the Twilight franchise?
It wasn’t that hard. We have like six decapitations in Eclipse! We smash people’s heads off, bite people’s heads off, I mean — I was amazed we got the rating we did, the MPAA only threw back one thing: we had this one part in the battle where Emmett just tears someone’s face off. The face kind of breaks off into pieces of crystal that shatter. I was like, ‘Whoa, yeah!’ But the MPAA said ‘No, you can’t do that.’ So the shot’s still in there, but you don’t see the face come off, you just see little bits of stuff breaking off.
Hollywood Reporter: Q&A with Melissa Rosenberg
Melissa Rosenberg already had a healthy career in features (“Step Up”) and television (“The O.C.,” “Dexter”) when Summit Entertainment hired her to adapt a vampire romance novel called “Twilight.” Four years, three scripts, two movies and one billion dollars later, she is entering the home stretch of her wildly successful “Twilight” run and finally starting to think about a life beyond Bella, Edward, Jacob and author Stephenie Meyer. With “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” poised to sink its teeth into the boxoffice June 30, Rosenberg talked to me about the benefits of failure, splitting “Breaking Dawn,” murderous dreams and the pleasure of writing about a genuinely horny girl.
But to what extent have you used that to try to tweak things. I’m thinking specifically of the end of the fourth novel and the decisions Bella makes. You can’t really stray from the decisions that are made, so is this a challenge for you on that front?
Rosenberg: Sure. You can’t stray from the decisions she makes, but it was about finding that middle ground, finding that place where I could feel good about it and feel like the message I’m putting out there is in line with my own. That was a challenge because the fourth book moves further away from that. But, what’s interesting is, again, it’s already in there, it’s just about stripping away some of the other things — which I have to do anyway, in the process of condensing I have to strip away a lot of stuff. And I still am able to maintain the emotional journey of the character without violating any of my own sets of beliefs. I think the issue on the table we’re talking about is choice. But the thing that gets blurry on the issue is that choosing to have a child is a choice. So she’s still going to make that choice, but it is about her deciding to do this. And I’m not violating the story at all.
Maybe you haven’t gotten to this point in structuring it yet, but can you allude to what the cliffhanger of the fourth movie versus the fifth would be?
Rosenberg: We’re kind of still deciding that. I’m doing first drafts now. But I think it comes down to Bella as human and Bella as vampire. (”Breaking Dawn” director) Bill Condon may give you a different answer, but I think it’s a natural break. There’s her as a human with the baby and everything and then there’s her as a parent and a vampire.
Nikki Reed on Life after “Twilight”
Actress, writer and L.A. native Nikki Reed is trying to figure out what to do with her life.
And while she’s been enjoying the success of the Twilight franchise — in which she co-stars as vampire Rosalie — she’s also been trying to make the most of the global phenomenon.
“It’s sometimes difficult to harness all those things and point it in the right direction so that you can get what you want out of this amazing, insane amount of exposure that none of us were really prepared for,” she tells Metro.
Of her future, Reed is sure of two things. The first is that she wants to do more than act.
“I know that I’m not going to be sitting at the Four Seasons in 10 years talking about the last however many films I’ve made and I’ve only acted in them,” she says. And since she got her start as a screenwriter as well as an actress, no one’s expecting her to stay in front of the camera.
Twilight’s First Family: The Cullens Talk Eclipse
The undead Cullens have finally come to terms with Edward’s human love Bella, as the pair moves closer to marriage. In The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the Cullens are ready to fight for her against an army of newborn vampires.
That meant lots of action for Peter Facinelli (Carlisle), Kellan Lutz (Emmett), Ashley Greene (Alice) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie). They told Parade.com’s Jeanne Wolf why they believe in the power of eternal love and the power of Stephenie Meyer’s novels on the big screen.
No guessing about who’s coming to dinner.
Peter Facinelli: “Doesn’t everyone have someone like Edward in their family that seems to be in a problematical relationship? You’re like, ‘I really wish they weren’t dating that person,’ but because you love them you just smile and say, ‘Welcome to the family.’ I think love makes you do some pretty crazy things like even giving your life up for all eternity.”
It’s all between the covers.
Ashley Greene: “I remember I read the first book in a day and a half and fell in love with it, and went right on to read the second and third. That’s when I understood why people are so totally into the story. I remember when I finally got cast, I was so ecstatic that I just burst into tears. I didn’t realize it was going to be such a huge deal until we started filming in Portland and my mom was like ‘Do you have a fan site yet?’ I was like, ‘People don’t know who I am.’ Now, everywhere there are screaming fans.”
Taylor Lautner’s Friends Tease Him About His ‘Little Jean Shorts’
Taylor Lautner goes shirtless again in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, proving yet again that he has a six-pack to die for. Playing Jacob the hunky werewolf the third time around puts Lautner in the middle of some intense competition with Edward for the love of Bella, finally giving him the opportunity to kiss Kristen Stewart.
Taylor revealed to Parade.com’s Jeanne Wolf why he might be willing to go that far for love.
Fight for the one you love.
“One of the biggest things I admire about Jacob is his persistence. He keeps going and fights for what he believes in. You’ve got to love a girl quite a bit to fight that much for her. I guess maybe I’d be the same way if I loved somebody the way that Jacob loves Bella. But he’s in a tough little love triangle, and I don’t envy that.”
Keeping his toned bod in perspective.
“It’s healthy and it sort of becomes addictive. It’s addicting to get into the gym and work to get that muscle. And the healthy eating is good too. But, luckily for me, my friends couldn’t care less. They tease me and mess with me about the shirtless thing and about my little jean shorts. It’s all good because it keeps me from looking in the mirror.”
I love the David Slade interviews! It seems that we didn’t really hear much from him during pre-production or filming and now to know how he interprets Stephenie’s description of vampire skin and what he planned to do with the vampire “sparkle effect” are so cool. I really wish that the effect of the newborn’s face exploding when Emmett rips it off could stay in the film.
The Melissa Rosenberg Q&A has some really good bits of insight in it. While she generally annoys the crap out of me, I found this particular interview to be worth the read. It’s interesting that she’s the child of a Berkley hipppie and Stephenie is a devout Mormon and they are able to come together and meet in the middle to produce more mainstream characters for the films.
I like the Nikki Reed article and how they show the readers that she’s not just some Hollywood starlet. This is a young woman with a great amount of depth who is in this business for the creative outlet that it provides, not the fame.
As always, any interview that includes Peter Facinelli is going to be entertaining, and Taylor’s comments about how his friends pick on him for the jeans shorts and going shirtless just helps to punctuate how he hasn’t let all of this go to his head.
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