Although it is still two weeks till "Twilight" opens, the buzz is building for this screen adaptation of the Stephenie Meyer bestseller about star-crossed lovers set against the backdrop of a world with vampires. The film's relatively unknown stars — Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart — appear on the latest "Entertainment Weekly" cover. And reports are that advance ticket sales for "Twilight" far outpace those for the new Bond picture, "Quantum of Solace."
This hot commodity is helmed by Catherine Hardwicke, who worked as a production designer for almost two decades before making an impressive directorial debut with the indie flick "Thirteen" five years ago. Holly Hunter as a wayward mother earned a supporting actress Oscar nod for the film (she lost to Renee Zellweger, "Cold Mountain"). Since then, Hardwicke has directed two other teen-focused features: "Lords of Dogtown" and "The Nativity Story."
"Twilight" is the first film based on the mega-successful series of books by housewife-turned-horrormeister Stephenie Meyer. The fourth installment of the franchise, "Breaking Dawn," was released in August with "Harry Potter"-style hoopla, including midnight bookstore parties, and sold 1.3 million copies that first day. And now that the film version of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" has been shunted off to next summer, "Twilight" looks to fill that void this fall. However, though the "Harry Potter" pictures boast budgets upward of $150 million, "Twilight" was made for a mere $37 million.
This means that the special effects in the film will inevitably lack the big bang for the buck that has dominated this category at the Oscars in recent years, with such franchises as "The Lord of the Rings" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" prevailing. Indeed, the last relatively low-key film to win this award was "Babe" back in 1995. But the film should figure into the nominations for the Saturn Awards. These kudos honor horror, sci-fi and fantasy films like "Twilight." Also look for the movie to make a big splash at next summer's Teen Choice Awards in categories including breakout male and female as well as best actor and actress in a horror or thriller.
Photo credit: Summit Entertainment