Best known as the author of The Twilight Saga novels, Stephenie Meyer has brought the first feature from her Fickle Fish Films to the Sundance Film Festival this year. Based on Shannon Hale’s novel of the same name, Austenland focuses an obsessed Jane Austen fan’s search for love and visit to a theme park based on the famous author. Selected for the U.S. Dramatic competition, the comedy stars Keri Russell, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour and Bret McKenzie and marks the directorial debut of Napoleon Dynamite co-writer Jerusha Hess. Austenland premiered at the Festival on January 18 with a sold out screening yesterday and four more screenings planned, all of which are sold out too. A producer on all The Twilight Saga movies as well as the upcoming The Host, Meyer sat down with Deadline at Sundance to talk about producing a film not based on a book she wrote, adaptations and an Austenland sequel.
Deadline: How did Austenland come together as Fickle Fish’s first feature?
Stephenie Meyer: Austenland happened because years ago my good friend and author Shannon Hale sent me the manuscript for her book. I loved it obviously and I thought it read like a movie to me. You could see everything, it’s very visual. And I got halfway through and thought how much fun it would be to go and make it real. So I figured 10 years down the road, we’re going to go to England and film it ourselves. Which my partner Meghan Hibbett and I did but a little earlier than scheduled and a little more elaborately than we planned. I’ve always loved book adaptations. I don’t always love what comes out of it but I love the idea of it. Every time I read a book I’m casting it in my head. So producing for me started out as really cool hobby and Austenland was the perfect place to start. Read More »
Summit Entertainment is partnering with exhibitors to show the first four movies in the Twilight Saga franchise November 15, a day before the official release of the final film in the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. Times and participating theaters have not been announced, but attendees will see exclusive interstitial content between films among other perks. Summit also said it will offer early screenings of Breaking Dawn Part 2 beginning at 10 PM on November 15, ahead of its worldwide premiere the next day.
Lionsgate-Summit delivered 28 actors from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, and Twilight fans converged on Comic-Con ahead of the movie’s panel Thursday to get a glimpse of their heroes and the woman who created them. Signing autographs last night clockwise from top right are author Stephenie Meyer, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli and Kellan Lutz.
EXCLUSIVE: Radha Mitchell has joined the cast of Olympus Has Fallen. The actress will play “Leah” the wife of Gerard Butler‘s Secret Service character in the White House thriller. Mitchell, who starts filming next week in Shreveport, Louisiana, joins Butler, Angela Bassett and Aaron Eckhart in the film. Olympus Has Fallen sees the president, played by Eckhart, and key members of his administration taken hostage. Butler’s character tries to stop the terrorist plot. Antoine Fuqua is directing. Mark Gill, Alan Siegel and Butler are producing the Millennium Films project. Avi Lerner and Trevor Short are executive producing. Mitchell also plays the lead in ABC’s new drama series Red Widow. (see the trailer here) Based on an Dutch series, Red Widow is about a woman pulled back into her family’s criminal past. The show, written and executive produced by The Twilight Saga screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and produced by ABC Studios, starts filming its season in Vancouver in August. Radha Mitchell is repped by ICM Partners and managed by Rick Ax.