The Twilight movies are all the rage again this summer as fans flock to Netflix with such speed that the entire saga has been trending among the streaming service’s top films. But it didn’t start with its recently acquired streaming option. For the past year or so Stephenie Meyer’s vampire-craze has been making a cult comeback among fans and those looking from the outside in still cannot understand why. And hey, if you were not part of the moment when Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were all the rage when the movies were being released, how could you? Objectively they are not the greatest of movies, but now that’s not why we love them. With that being said, it would be nice if they were a bit better.
It’s an odd concept to explore, because for all the awkward stares and weird CGI, the Twilight saga can also be a fun amount of hilarious and nostalgic. In my most recent rewatch of the saga, I imagined what I would change about movies if I was given the puppet strings, and honestly I’m quite confident if some time-traveler read my notes we might have had a more respected Twilight saga on our hands. Here’s what I would change:
Give The Entire Franchise To Twilight’s Catherine Hardwicke
Ok, first off it’s a major problem that Catherine Hardwicke was given the keys to Twilight and then they were taken away because she understood the assignment. The blue filter, a soundtrack that absolutely slaps and the absolutely iconic baseball sequence – all killer choices! It was the smallest scale of the films, but it did the best job of the five of emulating the books. After her exit, Chris Weitz, David Slade and Bill Condon would finish off the franchise.
Hardwicke was a hardcore fan of the Twilight books and should have remained at the helm of the series all the way through. The other movies tried their darndest, but they often didn’t completely understand the material and sometimes came off as male-gazey in terms of shooting what they probably thought fans wanted, but didn’t necessarily always deliver.
Sorry, Taylor Lautner. You’re Being Recast
My condolences to Team Jacob, but we could have done better than Taylor Lautner. Now, he did a great job for what he was given and yes, I would be a little sad to see him go, but he didn’t necessarily rise to the occasion on the acting front for such a large role he has in Bella’s storyline. This could also be the dialogue, but the dude came off really pushy and moody and his biggest trademark in the series became going shirtless in front of the camera for the fangirl screams.
And against Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, I just don’t think he had the right kind of chemistry for us to feel the push and pull Bella feels throughout the series. He was almost replaced for New Moon, and by my measure that might have been a good call.
There Would Be More Emphasis On Bella’s Choices
Here’s a big one. While watching the Twilight movies, I noticed that there really isn’t enough time spent on making Bella Swan’s perspective the focus of the series. Yes, we know Bella loves Edward and that’s the most key dynamic to her character, but she also really wants to be a vampire. She’s intrigued by being an outsider with the Cullens and living forever with the man that she loves. Yet, oftentimes the movies make Bella seem impulsive, shallow and flimsy to the idea.
We often see her ideas told through Jacob and Charlie’s judgment and disapproval and somewhere between New Moon and Eclipse we start to believe that Bella is just a silly character. That’s not to say Bella is some kind of femme fatale (she's not), but the movie’s could have made a more solid effort to be on her side and emphasize her perspective.
Breaking Dawn Is One Movie Instead Of Two And Rated-R
At the time, Summit Entertainment decided to split Breaking Dawn into two movies. To be fair the novel is over 700 pages in hardcover, but now that I’ve seen both the movies multiple times I can say confidently that it did not need to be done this way. There’s a ton of waiting around in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and unnecessary world-building in Breaking Dawn Part 2 that could have made for a more cohesive finale as one movie.
Also, the studio should have gone into the juicy details for the last movie and went for the R-rating. Between the vampire sex, a gruesome birth and bloody battles with the Volturi, Breaking Dawn could have upped the volume of the series with a more edgy flair. And let’s be honest here, the book probably hinges on R-rated content anyways.
No, Of Course We’re Not Using A CGI Baby For Renesmee
If there was one change to circle in red marker in the script, I'd have the filmmakers skip CGI baby Renesmee. While I appreciated the attention to detail, did we really need to spend those Hollywood dollars on animating over an actual child’s face? Thankfully they didn’t go for the animatronic, but still, for some reason that moment in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is just odd. Oh yeah, probably because when Jacob looks into her eyes he imprints on her and that wasn’t handled with the best care either.
Sure, the Twilight saga might be a hot mess, but it’s our hot mess and it’s fun to think about how certain choices molded our perspective on it. And clearly, what I was into when I was in middle school doesn't exactly track for me as an adult. What do you think of my theoretical changes? Vote in the poll below and hold on tight spider-monkey, there’s 10 hours of Twilight left to enjoy on Netflix.