Monday, April 21, 2008

Still With Vampires on the Brain - A Twilight Movie Casting Commentary

Now that I have almost finished reading the 3 books in the Twilight series for a second time, I'm starting to warm up to the idea of the movie, scheduled for release in December.

Initially, I was pretty choked that a movie was already being released. I would have wanted the series to have finished first, so that I could have established a strong image of what these characters (especially Edward and Bella) looked like in my own mind's eye before being fed images from some commercial production. Being such a visual person, my tendency is to quickly replace my mentally-conjured images with those I've seen with my eyes. When I read the last two Harry Potter books, for instance, my concept of what Ron and Harry and Hermione looked like were all but replaced with the faces of the young actors who played these characters in the movies.

During my online all-things-Twilight search, between the time when I read the first book and the last two, I came across the casting photos for the movie. I discovered that Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory in the HP movies) and Kristen Stewart had been cast in the lead roles, and saw pictures of the other actors playing members of the vampire family.

When I returned to the book series to finish inhaling them, guess which images had begun to creep into my brain to replace my own conceptions of the Edward and Bella characters?
It didn't take long for those images to burn into my brain and usurp my own visions of what these characters looked like; I hadn't even gazed at the images for any length of time before they became ingrained in my mind. And admittedly, I wasn't so thrilled with that idea. In my mind's eye, I vaguely recalled that my Edward was taller, more chiseled, more muscular, and more brooding - like Hayden Christensen. My Bella was also a little more plain, and not nearly as pretty as the actress that portrays her now. The Jasper of my mind's eye was also taller and bigger - almost superhero-ish in stature.

And so, somewhat upset with my own nosy online snooping and also with the movie's casting, I had decided I was not going to get worked up about the movie. In fact, I might not even go see it.

Yeah, right. :) That attitude was short-lived. I just saw the Summit productions' teaser clip for the movie, and I have to admit that I was pretty giddy afterwards. In spite of my reservations about the casting, and how they didn't quite match up with my own mental images of the characters, I have to grudgingly admit that the movie was not cast in ignorance; the director Catherine Hardwicke did a pretty bang-on job of staying true to the characters in the actors that she had chosen, after all. And this, before even seeing the movie! The teaser clip was just that effective, I guess. :)

So now, despite my initial internal campaign for a different Edward, I have been reformed. I'm completely open to the idea of Robert Pattinson playing the part, and in fact I'm quite convinced that he will do a fine job of it. He is even starting to look a little bit hot, IMHO. Ditto with the actress portraying Bella, and the guy playing Jasper.

Poor Hubbs will have to take me to the movie, after all. :)