‘Twilight’ Gave Patty Jenkins Ammo to Make ‘Wonder Woman’

Kim Taylor-Foster
Movies Fantasy
Movies Fantasy

It’s remarkable to think that Twilight is marking its tenth anniversary already. And yet at the same time, it feels like the whole epic saga has been around since, well, forever —  such has been its impact on pop culture. To celebrate, director of the young adult phenomenon Catherine Hardwicke took to the Main Stage at New York Comic-Con to talk about the impact the original film has had, alongside some of its stars – including Kellan Lutz, who played Emmet Cullen; Jackson Rathbone, who played Jasper; and Laurent actor Edi Gathegi.

While fans had the cast demonstrating their ability to pull off dance crazes the Floss and the Boomerang from Fortnite, Hardwicke spoke about how significant the film was for women in the industry. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, who played Bella and Edward respectively in the films, weren’t able to attend in person, but Stewart recorded a message that was played to the audience, saying that she was “super bumming that I cannot be there.” She added, “I feel like we grew up together. It’s been ten years and I love you guys. I’m totally there in spirit”.

Pattinson, meanwhile, joined the panel towards the end via Skype but technical problems meant that much of what he said was indiscernible. The audience was able to hear him say that he had little understanding of what he was getting into making the first Twilight film. He also thanked Hardwicke and everyone involved for giving him the opportunity to be part of the life-changing phenomenon, and paid tribute to the loyalty of the fans.

Here are some of the key quotes from the Twilight 10th anniversary panel.

The Cast Attended Cat Class – All Except Kellan Lutz

The vampires in Twilight almost ended up channeling felines in their performances. Except for Kellan Lutz, that is, who talked his way out of the cat class director Catherine Hardwicke had the rest of the cast attend.

Jackson Rathbone: “Catherine had us do cat class. It was cat movement. We were talking about these vampires and we wanted to have something a little bit ethereal. We didn’t quite get there in the film because it ended up being a little silly — because they were like, ‘OK, now you’re a cat, you’re moving, you’re moving…’ [does exaggerated cat-like movements]. Can you imagine if the film would have been all that?”

Kellan Lutz [to Catherine Hardwicke]: “I think you and I talked about that [cat class]. Because you were telling me that you made all the other actors do it and I said, ‘I think Emmet’s more a bear’, so I just stood there and looked really big and you were like: ‘I like that, good.'”

Nobody Believed Twilight Would Be a Hit Because it was a Film For Women

Bella and Edward smooch.

Catherine Hardwicke: “It was a modest budget, because everybody thought: ‘Hey, a movie for women is only going to make, like, you know… Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants made $29 million’. They said, ‘Maybe that’s all this is going to make’. Cut to opening weekend — $69 million. And then, even then, they told me: ‘Hey … everybody that wants to see it saw it opening weekend’. Again, cut to $400 million worldwide. I think that changed the landscape. People could see that women want to go see movies about women — and guys want to see movies about …  and it didn’t hurt that there were a few hot guys in the movie. So it changed everything, in a way.”

There Were Originally Underwater Dream Sequences Planned

Hardwicke on what the film would be like if she’d had a bigger budget: “These guys were going to do a lot more action sequences that they don’t know about. We were doing underwater dream sequences. It would have been even more flashy and fabulous.”

Without Twilight, There Would Be No Hunger Games

Hardwicke on the legacy of Twilight: “I think it’s cool because all the other Twilight films were even more successful. And then we had Divergent, we had Hunger Games… gave us Jennifer Lawrence, we got Wonder Woman, you know, all kinds. So everything builds and people get excited and they’re willing to take a chance on a female-led film. So it’s really fun to see more and more films like that happening and you guys out there supporting them.”

Twilight Gave Ammo to Patty Jenkins To Make Wonder Woman

Hardwicke: “It would have been a little bit more exciting to me if they had hired female directors for all the other Twilights. That would have been cool. And for The Hunger Games, and for the Divergent [films] … you know, 50 million other movies. But I think people are opening their eyes. Change happens, like Emma Gonzalez said, a little bit at a time. So we’re moving forward. Sometimes backwards like yesterday.

I think that the fact that this movie made so much money is ammo for Patty to get to make her movie. As soon as Patty’s movie did so great, Wonder Woman, that’s ammo to hire the next female director. And Ava Duvernay, of course, did such a great job. And we’re just building on it. And now people are a little bit embarrassed if they have a female character and don’t at least try to get a female director. So I think the tide is changing. We’re all hopeful.”

Twilight is being re-released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray on October 23, and is returning to theaters for two days (October 21 and 23). Tickets are available at Fathom Events.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.