Deadline’s Comic-Con correspondent Luke Y Thompson files:
OK, all biases laid on the table here: I am not a fan. Went into the first movie without preconceptions, then was astonished as the story got more and more preposterous. The second movie, NEW MOON, isn’t so bad; it’s quite nicely cinematic, and the extended gag where everybody goes to watch a fake movie called “Face Punch” is the best thing in any of the films. The ending’s kind of an amazing cop-out, though – you resolve things by looking into the future and seeing that everything will be okay? Really? And we’re supposed to feel dramatic tension as the series goes on even though we’ve just been handed the ending on a plate? Never mind. The romance is the point, of course, even though Bella is so mopey and indecisive that, frankly, this writer is on Team Nobody, because both those dudes deserve better. Let’s see what the first part of the final cinematic chapter brings.
Out come Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson (dude has huge eyes, like Gizmo from GREMLINS), and Taylor Lautner, whose long neck must be what led to those STRETCH ARMSTRONG casting rumors.
What was it like for Kristen Stewart to shoot the wedding scene? “I’ve been ramping up to shoot that scene for four years,” she says. “It was just so beautiful,” had “secret-service-style crazy security.” She was much more relaxed than she expected.
Pattinson says the first day in Brazil for the honeymoon shoot was amazing and beautiful…then hurricane season hit. He calls it “kinda like a honeymoon in England: we were playing board games instead of makin’ looove on the beach!”
Now we get to see a clip – a scene Condon says isn’t in the book.
Jacob is getting a medical blood packet from Carlisle Cullen. It won’t be enough, so Carlisle has to get more. Jacob warns him that Sam will kill them. Carlisle and Esme say it’s worth the risk, Bella is family now. Jacob says he can see that; “This really is a family, as strong as the one I was born into.”
Cut to Jacob, with Leah and Seth, in the woods. He’s confronted by Paul and other hostile werewolves. Paul: “This isn’t your territory any more!” Jacob demands that Sam take back Leah and Seth into the clan. Adds: “Tell Sam that when the moment comes, I’ll be the one to destroy it. I’m the only one who can. They trust me.”
End of clip.
Lautner says Jacob in this movie gets his heart crushed and has to mature/take a stand.
New clip: the honeymoon.
Edward carries Bella over the threshold through a rotating glass door. She actually looks slightly tan, and is barefoot. Edward: “I’m nothing if not traditional.”
She sees the four-poster bed, and is clearly excited. He brings in the luggage, kinda embarrassed-looking.
Edward: “You tired?”
She shakes head.
“You wanna go for a swim?”
She nods. “I could use a few human minutes.”
“Don’t take too long, Mrs. Cullen.”
He goes outside to the water and takes his shirt off [Con crowd goes wild]
She goes into the bathroom, and a pop song comes on as she brushes her teeth, hair, shaves legs, picks out underwear, looks all tense. Then she says, to herself, “Don’t be a coward.” She runs outside in just a towel, drops it (seen from behind; sorry, boys!) and goes in the water, where Edward’s bare back awaits. End clip.
More audience questions. Was it more fun for Edward to play Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter films, or Edward? “I didn’t really know what I was doing when I was playing Cedric; I didn’t even know if I wanted to be an actor…TWILIGHT’s changed my life…I can’t imagine another way to live in this world…I don’t know what I’m talking about – obviously.”
Lautner says he loves action movies, new film ABDUCTION is a very different character for him.
What was the cast’s reaction to the birth scene when they read it? Stewart: “I thought it was so cool; we really tried to go as hardcore as we could.” Bella has “always been able to fight harder than other humans because of a little bit of that [indicates Rob] in her – literally!” She realizes double entendre, laughs.
A fan who says she was pleasantly surprised by Rob’s back muscles asks Kristen what vampire makeup was like, and was Rob’s whining about it justified or was he just being a big baby?
Stewart: “SO, so justified. The contacts suck.”
Rob’s favorite scene to film? “The birth scene. I never get to play Edward in a way that he’s aware of his own helplessness, and so frail and human.” Lautner adds that the scene is “really amazing.” Stewart says, “you finally see that Bella’s willing to die for what she fights for…she’s like this little cat in the corner who will literally scratch your eyes out.”
What’s it like for Rob and Taylor to work with beautiful women?
Rob: “I always get asked this, every year.”
Taylor: “And what do you say?”
Rob: “Any answer could be inappropriate.”
Taylor: “There could be worse jobs. It is weird.”
Kristen: “It’s so weird that we’re so hot.”
What’s it like for Taylor doing the fight scenes? “I’m usually a wolf, so it’s a bummer, because I wish I could be doing it. I’m super-jealous of my CGI wolf.” But adds that Rob “gives me a good punch in this one, after he finds out I imprinted on his daughter.” Rob notes that in one scene, Taylor jumped down a large flight of steps with no safety wires, and it “ was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen a human being do.”
Now out come Julia Jones, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, and Ashley Greene.
A small child asks Rob how he likes having a baby with Bella. Rob: “I really like babies, and I like doing scenes with them…you’re playing this statue, and as soon as you have a baby, you can’t be hard.”
Ashley says the nice thing about BREAKING DAWN is that there are more opportunities to see Alice defend her family. She’s at her peak, and goes darker places.
Nikki: “It was nice to smile on set once or twice.”
Elizabeth: “I enjoyed working with the international vampires.”
Julia says Leah really opens up in this one.
Condon is asked about his love of horror movies – he calls them “pure movies – images, sound, and music creating that feeling of tension.” He stayed true to the material by consulting in detail with Kristen, whom he calls the biggest fan of them. They talked about the script for a week, then would go over each scene again the night before to make sure everything that needed to be in there from the book was.
Some of this movie is from Jacob’s point of view – Taylor calls it a challenge, Kristen says it’s cool not to know what Bella’s thinking at that moment.
All cast members say how much they’ll miss it. Taylor says the third book was one he loved but this movie is his fave. Kristen’s favorite book was New Moon, but movie-wise she still loves the first one. “I am so goddamn nostalgic!” Immediately covers her mouth in horror realizing there are kids in the room.
Fan asks if Taylor is like Jacob in real life. “I would hope so. I don’t know if I’m really the best judge of that. I’d be honored if the people around me thought I was like Jacob.”
Will we get Alice’s backstory onscreen? Ashley: “I think we may bypass that.”
Are they interested in doing voice-overs on audio books? Elizabeth: “I would love to do voice-over acting, because you can wear sweatpants.”
Stewart says she prepared for the wedding ceremony by listening to Band of Horses’ “For Annabel.”
Panel closes with the teaser trailer already out there, with everyone getting wedding invites.
Can’t say this footage looks especially better or worse than any other TWILIGHT film. But it is interesting seeing Stewart with some color in her face. Seems bearable at least.