Torn between two people and worlds
No one has sold more novels than J.K. Rowling in the past decade, but Stephenie Meyer, the creator of the Twilight series, ranks a close second. As was the case with Rowling, Meyer never expected the series to grow to such epic proportions and her first novel almost never even saw the light of day. She was rejected by numerous publishers, until one, Little, Brown and Company, took a risk on a stay-at-home mother's first book. The gamble paid off - more than anyone expected. As to be expected, Hollywood jumped on the bandwagon and released a film version of the modern-day vampire love story in 2008.
The original Twilight starred Kirsten Stewart as Bella Swan and tween idol Robert Pattinson - both relative unknowns at the time - played the 109-year-old vampire Edward Cullen. Young girls were spellbound by his freakishly good looks and swooned at the mere mention of his name. The following year, New Moon was released, totalling US$1.1 billion in box-office sales.
With the release of the latest instalment, Eclipse, on Wednesday, expectations are over the moon. It is touted as the most action-packed of the series.
'When we started to make these movies a lot of people would say that the third one's going to make the best movie,' says Wyck Godfrey, one of the producers of all three films, in the production notes. 'I think a lot of people feel that way because Eclipse has the most action, with the climax involving a huge battle between wolves and vampires and newborns.'
Eclipse further heightens the tension between the three main characters: Bella, Edward and Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Each one is of a different breed but caught in a complicated triangle that involves more than just themselves. Bella's fate hinges on the tensions that exist between traditional enemies, the Cullen family, who are vampires, and the Quileute tribe, who are werewolves.
But, the battle aside, this is a human-interest story. Bella is torn between two people and two worlds. She must decide between her friendship with Jacob and her lover, Edward. The choice she makes will have severe ramifications on her life, or death - either as a human or a vampire.
'Eclipse is really about Bella having come to the decision that she is absolutely going to become a vampire and she begins to really evaluate what that's going to cost her,' says Godfrey. 'She must weigh the pros and cons of the ramifications of choosing to become Edward's eternal lover.'
'Twi-hard' fans will have to hold their breaths, though, for the conclusion. The final chapter, Breaking Dawn, is still in the works and rumoured to be released in two parts - but when exactly remains a secret.
The film opens on Wednesday