Those familiar with Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn know it will be a bear to adapt. It’s 756 pages long, features multiple points of view, and would almost certainly be rated R if translated directly as written. Summit Entertainment split the book into two films to take care of the first problem. But of course, that raises a new question: where should you split it?
Producer Wyck Godfrey has gone on the record to address some of these questions, including where the films will be split, how to incorporate Jacob’s POV, and how to keep it PG-13. Hit the jump to see what he had to say (includes spoilers).
Godfrey and the filmmakers have latched on to a natural split from the book. The first film will end just before Bella undergoes her transformation into Vampire Bella:
“We basically want to take the audience through the emotional part of Bella’s journey as she becomes a vampire. The first part will cover the wedding, the honeymoon and the birth.”
Breaking Dawn is split into three explicit sections, the second of which is told from Jacob’s perspective. Godfrey tells USA Today:
“The story will break from her and follow Jacob throughout the course of the movie as he struggles with his own dilemma. There is a sense that as Bella and the Cullens (Edward’s makeshift vampire clan) deal with her pregnancy, the world is still turning outside with Jacob.”
The fourth book ventures into more adult concepts and arguably gorier territory. But given Twilight‘s young fanbase, Godfrey notes,
“It would be a crime against our audience to go R-rated… This is based on a much more mature book. We need to progress and be more sophisticated.”
Godfrey proposes a solution for the infamous birth scene — show it from the perspective of Bella, who cannot clearly see all the horrible things happening to her body:
“She is looking through the haze, experiencing pain and everything rushing around her. We only see what she sees.”
Godfrey closes with a summation of the two Breaking Dawn films in a nutshell:
“The second half is more of an action film in terms of life-and-death stakes… There are the pangs of newlywed tension that occur that are relatable even in a fantasy film. Marriage is not quite the experience that they thought it was.”
Directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 hits theaters November 18, 2011. Part 2 follows on November 16, 2012. Click here for all our coverage on casting and production updates.
Here’s the synopsis for Meyer’s book:
When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?
To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.
Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life–first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse–seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed… forever?
The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions. [Amazon]