Comic-Con 2011: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1 Panel Recap

     July 21, 2011

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I’m not a Twilight fan and I think I’ve made that as clear as humanly possible to the readers of the site.  But in Hall H this morning, I’m in the minority.  Fans have been lined up for days to get their first look at The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.  We were shown two scenes from the film and stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner talked about the controversial birth scene, the journey of their characters, and adorable children ask adorable questions.

Hit the jump for my report on the Comic-Con panel for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.  The film opens November 18th.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN Part 1 posterThey kick off with some footage but before that happens, director Bill Condon walks on stage.  No one here knows who he is and they damn well should.  He tells the audience that this is the third act of the story and that Breaking Dawn – Part 1 turns into a horror movie in the second half.  Then Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner come on stage and the crowd damn sure well knows who they are.  The shrieks are unsurprisingly ear-splitting because they’re so damn handsome.

First question from moderator Eric Moro: What was it like to shoot the wedding?  The wedding comes at the end of the film and Stewart says she was most excited to shoot that scene.  There was also “crazy, secret service security” as she got into her dress.  She jokes at how lame it sounds to call the wedding scene, “her day”.

Pattinson talks about shooting the honeymoon scenes in Brazil and Pattinson says it’s beautiful.  Clearly, he has never seen City of God.  Pattinson jokes that the torrential downpour had them playing board games inside rather than “making passionate love on the beach.”

We’re about to see the first of two big scenes from the movie.  The first scene is where Jacob has joined up with the Cullens to be protected from the werewolves.  He talks with Carlisle and Esmee about getting Bella more blood but it’s clearly an uneasy alliance.  He then goes to confront Sam and his old wolf pack to tell them to back off, and that when the “problem” comes along (presumably Bella’s child), he’ll kill it.

After the clip, Lautner comments that Jacob really matures in this film.  I know Twilight fans want me to be neutral or positive on what I saw, but his lack of acting ability just makes what should feel like a serious scene come off as comical.

The next scene takes place on the first night of Bella and Edward’s honeymoon.  It’s worth noting that Edward doesn’t look anywhere near as pale as he does in previous films.  In the earlier films he looked like an albino and here he’s just slightly pale and also kind of sweaty.  When the scene opens, Bella and Edward look over their dope honeymoon sweet and then they enter the bedroom and anxiously look over the bed.  Edward then suggests they go for a swim in the ocean.  Bella says she’ll be there in a moment and then the tone almost becomes a romantic comedy.  Poppy music starts playing as she brushes her teeth, shaves her legs, and tries to pick the right sexy underwear.  She then tells herself “Don’t be a coward.”  Then, draped in a towel, she goes out to the beach and sees Edward in the distanced swimming.  She then drops the towel and from the waste up we can see her walk towards the water with shirtless Edward in the distance.  It felt a little cruel that you have a shirtless Robert Pattinson in a scene and you don’t show this crowd a close-up.

During the Q&A, both Stewart and Pattinson talk about the controversial birth scene.  They describe it as something unlike any other birthing scene ever, that there’s a sense of danger that pervades it, and that while Bella is ravenous for more blood and it feels like “there’s running through her veins,” Edward feels helpless and being “totally annihilated by the situation.”

Lautner also says the birth scene is his favorite in the movie and he credits Condon will the way it turned out.  It’s an intense scene but the actors have to all talk around it.  Even my interest is piqued although it’s more in a perverse way than genuine excitement.

Condon says that they have about 15 songs planned for the film, but they can’t say which because the deals haven’t been finalized.

Lautner says that Pattinson gives him a nice punch after Edward finds out that Jacob has “imprinted” on Edward’s newborn daughter, Renesmee (a werewolf falls in love with a baby).  Lautner also commented on how this is the first film that also puts the story at Jacob’s POV as well as Bella’s.  Stewart adds that because Bella withdraws from the other characters, the film is smart to move away from her and to Jacob.  After New Moon, I certainly wouldn’t mind less of crazy Bella.

Then supporting cast members Julia Jones, Elisabeth Reese, Nikki Reed, and Ashley Greene join the panel.  Moro asks them about their characters and how they develop in the film because it’s clear that the audience only has questions for Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner.

As always, adorable children are adorable (the winner is a kid who asks Pattinson, “What was it like to have the baby with Bella?”), people ask what it’s like working with other hot actors,

Condon talks about shooting during the Rio Film Festival and the great Brazilian crew that worked with them for six weeks.  As for horror, Condon talks about being influenced by Hitchcock and that it’s pure cinema creating such a feeling of tension.  It’s also not the birth scene that is intense, but also the wolf attack and everything that happens in the last 30 minutes.  He also talks about trying to remain faithful to the books and knowing the material inside and out despite the “intensity” (which seems like the kind way to refer the most controversial book in the series) of the source material.

Click here for all our Comic-Con 2011 coverage.

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