BREAKING DAWN PART 2 EXPLAINED (Press Notes) – Producer Wyck Godfrey, who has worked on all the Twilight films in the saga, summarizes, “The first film is about new love, the second about loss, the third about choice, the fourth about the challenges of marriage and family, and this last film is about protecting that family.”
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 2 sees the three main characters – Bella, Edward, and Jacob – each coming to grips with the reality of Bella finally becoming a vampire and subsequently explodes with action as they are forced to fight for the ones they love.
“This movie opens at the exact moment that the last one ends,” explains Oscar® winning director Bill Condon, who shot the film concurrently with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1. “I decided to open with a full-on main title sequence, which is scored to an overture of musical themes from each of the other movies. Each of the composers is represented and it gets you right back into the mood of the first Twilight movie. All huge landscapes, but it intercuts from that to what’s happening inside Bella while the venom is going through her body… and then she opens her eyes. The frame is starry and abstract until she adjusts to a new way of seeing. Whoosh, it just comes into focus and there’s Edward.”
Condon adds, “The break between the two movies lets you get used to the idea of Bella as a vampire. Bella starts this whole new life — it’s a different movie, she’s a vampire now. At this point in the series, her dad Charlie is basically the only human left. Everyone is a magical creature now. Part 2 is a really different experience and that was what excited me… it really was the chance to make two very different movies from the same novel.”
“We start with Bella’s awakening as a vampire,” reiterates Godfrey. “Everything we’ve shown and described in the past films about newborn vampires is now being experienced by Bella, the character that we’ve been following for four movies. Visually, we try to take the audience into the mode of seeing every detail close to you as well as far away; hearing all the noises around you; and the quickness and strength of your motions. Immediately, Bella’s up, Edward still loves her, Renesmee’s alive, but immediately Bella has this unquenched thirst… so they go on her first hunt.”
Author and producer Stephenie Meyer adds, “Bella now senses with amazing clarity… everything’s changed for her. Suddenly, everything physical becomes very easy for her… almost like a superpower. Yet all of sudden, she has to balance all that with incredible thirst. But, she knew it was coming. She is the first vampire in the history of my mythology that has chosen to be a vegetarian vampire before transformation. So unlike everyone else before her, she goes into it committed to not kill anybody. She knew the thirst was going to be awful and she braced for it, so she doesn’t have the same issues that a lot of them do. Bella has that will and preparation and it makes her able to handle herself as a newborn.”
Upon her return to the Cullen house, Bella meets her extraordinary daughter Renesmee for the first time and learns of her special gift, her troubling unprecedented growth rate… and of Jacob’s special bond to her. While Jacob still cares deeply about Bella, his priority is now Renesmee. “One of my favorite scenes in the book was the moment that Jacob reveals that he has imprinted on her daughter. Bella reacts the way that audiences probably will as well – Are you kidding? Then she beats the piss out of him,” laughs Rosenberg. “It’s such a fun scene where we get to see Bella as a mother, protector, and a strong kickass vampire. It helps the audience really understand and begin to embrace Jacob’s situation.”
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 focused on Bella and Edward creating a family of their own, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is about keeping that family safe. “We spin the first act with the newness of Bella as a vampire, and seeing her daughter for the first time. This family – Bella, Edward, and Renesmee – have a home in their cottage and are enjoying this new life together,” says Godfrey. “The danger comes when Renesmee is mistaken as an immortal child, which is verboten by the Volturi. So, the major threat of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is the Volturi hear that Renesmee is an immortal child and that’s a no-no. The Volturi are now gathering forces to rid themselves of the Cullen clan once and for all.”
An immortal child is a human child who has been turned, and as a newborn vampire has uncontrollable thirst, an immortal child is unable to maintain secrecy. One of the Denali sisters informs the Volturi about the child with the Cullens. “Irina misunderstands Renesmee at a distance and now we’re off to what is a completely different movie… an epic action movie where all the vampires from around the world meet and confront each other,” explains Condon.
“The Cullens are now in jeopardy again, but it’s a bigger issue,” comments Meyer. “Before in the series, Bella’s been threatened and they put themselves at risk to protect her, but they were not going to get wiped out. This is a situation where they’re going to be annihilated. The Volturi are coming and they are going to decimate them. There’s nothing the Cullens can do. They can’t run and they can’t hide. They’ve been sentenced to death.”
Meyer adds, “The Cullens know that they have not committed this crime, so is this really what this is about? Do the Volturi sincerely believe they’ve committed an unpardonable crime? Or is this Aro taking care of the competition, in which case it doesn’t matter what they’ve done? But, hoping for the best, the Cullens assemble all the friends they can to tell the Volturi that Renesmee is not what they think she is. The Cullens are hoping that if they can slow the Volturi down enough, they will be able to talk their way out.”
The novels and the films constitute nothing short of a global phenomenon. In the four years since Twilight first opened in theatres in November of 2008, the subsequent novels have each been a number one bestseller and each successive film has opened to a blockbuster reception, in the U.S. and abroad. The four films of The Twilight Saga to date have amassed over $1 billion in domestic gross at the box office, and tickets sales worldwide have surpassed $2.5 billion. Over 30 million DVD/Blu-ray units have been sold in the U.S. alone. The Twitter handle for the film saga – @Twilight – is the first-ever movie account to reach 1 million followers.
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