Twilight is a 2008 American romanticfantasy film based on Stephenie Meyer's popular novel of the same name. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the film stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. It is the first film in The Twilight Saga film series. This film focuses on the development of the relationship between Bella Swan (a teenage girl) and Edward Cullen (a vampire), and the subsequent efforts of Edward and his family to keep Bella safe from a coven of evil vampires.
The project was in development for approximately three years at Paramount Pictures, during which time a screen adaptation that differed significantly from the novel was written. Summit Entertainment acquired the rights to the novel after three years of the project's stagnant development. Melissa Rosenberg wrote a new adaptation of the novel shortly before the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike and sought to be faithful to the novel's storyline. Principal photography took 44 days and completed on May 2, 2008; the film was primarily shot in Oregon.
Twilight was theatrically released on November 21, 2008; it grossed over US$393 million worldwide. It was released on DVD March 21, 2009 and became the most purchased DVD of the year. The soundtrack was released on November 4, 2008. Following the film's success, New Moon and Eclipse, the next two novels in the series, were produced as films the following year.
Bella Swan, a seventeen-year-old outcast, moves to Forks, a small town located by Washington'sOlympic Peninsula, to live with her father, Charlie, who is the police chief of town. Her mother, Renée, is remarried to a minor league baseball player, and they travel often to attend games. At her new high school, Bella makes several new friends, but she is also intrigued by the mysterious and aloof Cullen siblings. Bella sits next to Edward Cullen in biology class on her first day of school, but he seems to be repulsed by her. After a week of absence from school, Edward returns to school, and begins socializing with Bella normally. A few days later, Bella is nearly struck by a van in the school parking lot. Edward saves her by instantaneously covering a distance of over thirty feet, and putting himself between Bella and the van, stopping it with only his hand, and making a conspicuous dent on the van. He subsequently refuses to explain his actions to Bella, and warns her against befriending him.
After much research, Bella concludes that Edward is seemingly human, but has mysterious powers resembling to a vampire. He eventually confirms this, but says he and the other Cullens only consume animal blood. The pair fall in love, and Edward introduces Bella to his vampire family. Carlisle Cullen, the family patriarch, is a doctor working at the hospital in Forks. His wife is Esme. Alice, Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie, are their informally adopted children. Edward and Bella's relationship is soon put in jeopardy, when three nomadic vampires—James, Victoria, and Laurent—arrive at Forks. James, a tracker vampire with incredible hunting instincts, is instantly intrigued by Edward's protectiveness over a human, which incites him to hunt Bella for sport. Edward and the other Cullens put their lives on the line in an effort to protect Bella, but James tracks her to Phoenix, where she is hiding with Jasper and Alice. James lures Bella into a trap by falsely claiming that he is holding her mother hostage. James attacks Bella by biting her wrist, infecting her with vampire venom. After a ferocious battle, Edward subdues James just as the other members of the Cullen family arrive. Alice, Emmett, and Jasper kill James, decapitating and burning him, as Edward removes the venom from Bella's wrist, preventing her from turning into a vampire. In the aftermath of the battle, Bella has suffered a broken leg, and ends up in the hospital, but her mother comes in to visit. Upon returning to Forks, Edward accompanies Bella to the high school prom, where he refuses to grant her request that he would transform her into a vampire. As the couple dance, they are unaware that James' mate, Victoria, is secretly watching, plotting revenge for her lover's death.
See also: List of Twilight cast members
- Main cast
- Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, a seventeen-year-old girl who moves to the small town of Forks, Washington from Phoenix, Arizona and falls in love with Edward Cullen, a vampire. Her life is endangered after James, a sadistic vampire, decides to hunt her.
- Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, a 108-year-old vampire who was changed in 1918 and still appears to be seventeen. He is Bella's love interest and eventually falls in love with her. He has the ability to read minds, with the exception of Bella's, along with superhuman speed.
- Secondary cast
- Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen, a compassionate 300-plus-year-old vampire who looks to be in his early 30s. He serves as the town's physician and is the Cullen family patriarch.
- Elizabeth Reaser as Esme Cullen, Carlisle's vampire wife and the matriarch of the Cullen family.
- Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen, Jasper Cullen's mate, a vampire who can see the future based on decisions that people make.
- Kellan Lutz as Emmett Cullen, physically the strongest vampire of the family.
- Nikki Reed as Rosalie Hale, Emmett Cullen's mate, a vampire described as the most beautiful person in the world. She is hostile toward Bella throughout the film, worried that Edward's relationship with a human puts their clan at risk.
- Jackson Rathbone as Jasper Hale, a Cullen family member who can manipulate emotions. He is the newest member of the Cullen family, and thus has the most difficulty maintaining their "vegetarian" diet of feeding only on animal rather than human blood.
- Billy Burke as Charlie Swan, Bella's father and Forks' Chief of Police.
- Cam Gigandet as James Witherdale, the leader of a group of nomadic vampires that intends to kill Bella. He is Victoria's mate and a gifted tracker, due to his unparalleled senses.
- Rachelle Lefèvre as Victoria Sutherland, James' mate who assists him in hunting Bella.
- Edi Gathegi as Laurent Da Revin, the most civilized member of James' coven.
- Sarah Clarke as Renée Dwyer, Bella's mother who lives in Arizona with her new husband, Phil.
- Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, an old childhood friend of Bella and a member of the Quileute tribe.
- Christian Serratos as Angela Weber, one of Bella's new friends in Forks.
- Michael Welch as Mike Newton, one of Bella's new friends who vies for her attention.
- Anna Kendrick as Jessica Stanley, Bella's first friend in Forks.
- Gregory Tyree Boyce as Tyler Crowley, another one of Bella's classmates, also vying for Bella's attention. He nearly hits Bella with his van.
- Justin Chon as Eric Yorkie, another one of Bella's classmates who vies for her attention.
- Solomon Trimble as Sam Uley. Solomon Trimble was credited as "Jacob's friend" in the film, but was widely recognized as playing the part of Sam.
- Krys Hyatt as Embry Call. She was recognized as playing the part of Embry in the Twilight film, though his role was uncredited.
- Gil Birmingham as Billy Black
- Matt Bushell as Phil Dwyer
- José Zúñiga as Mr. Molina
- Ned Bellamy as Waylon Forge
- Ayanna Berkshire as Cora
- Katie Powers as Waitress
- Trish Egan as Ms. Cope
Stephenie Meyer's paranormal romance novelTwilight was originally optioned by Paramount Pictures' MTV Films in April 2004, but the screenplay that was subsequently developed was substantially different from its source material. When Summit Entertainment reinvented itself as a full-service studio in April 2007, it began development of a film adaptation anew, having picked up the rights from Paramount (who coincidentally had made an unrelated film with the same title in 1998) in a turnaround. The company perceived the film as an opportunity to launch a franchise based on the success of Meyer's book and its sequels.Catherine Hardwicke was hired to direct the film and Melissa Rosenberg was hired to write the script in mid-2007.
Rosenberg developed an outline by the end of August, and collaborated with Hardwicke on writing the screenplay during the following month. Rosenberg said Hardwicke "was a great sounding board and had all sorts of brilliant ideas.... I'd finish off scenes and send them to her, and get back her notes." Due to the impending Writers Guild of America strike, Rosenberg worked full-time to finish the screenplay before October 31. In adapting the novel, she "had to condense a great deal." Some characters from the novel were not featured in the screenplay, whereas some characters were combined into others. "[O]ur intent all along was to stay true to the book", Rosenberg explained, "and it has to do less with adapting it word for word and more with making sure the characters' arcs and emotional journeys are the same." Hardwicke suggested the use of voice over to convey Bella's internal dialogue — since the novel is told from her point of view — and she sketched some of the storyboards during pre-production.
Adaptation from source material
The filmmakers behind Twilight worked to create a film that was as faithful to the novel as they thought possible when converting the story to another medium, with producer Greg Mooradian saying, "It's very important to distinguish that we're making a separate piece of art that obviously is going to remain very, very faithful to the book.... But at the same time, we have a separate responsibility to make the best movie you can make." To ensure a faithful adaptation, Meyer was kept very involved in the production process, having been invited to visit the set during filming and even asked to give notes on the script and on a rough cut of the film. Of this process, she said, "It was a really pleasant exchange [between me and the filmmakers] from the beginning, which I think is not very typical. They were really interested in my ideas", and, "...they kept me in the loop and with the script, they let me see it and said, 'What are your thoughts?'... They let me have input on it and I think they took 90 percent of what I said and just incorporated it right in to the script." Meyer fought for one line in particular, one of the most well-known from the book about "the lion and the lamb", to be kept verbatim in the film: "I actually think the way Melissa [Rosenberg] wrote it sounded better for the movie [...] but the problem is that line is actually tattooed on peoples' bodies [...] But I said, 'You know, if you take that one and change it, that's a potential backlash situation.'" Meyer was even invited to create a written list of things that could not be changed for the film, such as giving the vampires fangs or killing characters who do not die in the book, that the studio agreed to follow. The consensus among critics is that the filmmakers succeeded in making a film that is very faithful to its source material, with one reviewer stating that, with a few exceptions, "Twilight the movie is unerringly faithful to the source without being hamstrung by it."
They could have filmed [the script developed when the project was at Paramount] and not called it Twilight because it had nothing to do with the book... When Summit [Entertainment] came into the picture, they were so open to letting us make rules for them, like "Okay, Bella cannot be a track star. Bella cannot have a gun or night vision goggles. And, no jet skis...."
However, as is most often the case with film adaptations, differences do exist between the film and source material. Certain scenes from the book were cut from the film, such as a biology room scene where Bella's class does blood typing. Hardwicke explains, "Well [the book is] almost 500 pages—you do have to do the sweetened condensed milk version of that.... We already have two scenes in biology: the first time they're in there and then the second time when they connect. For a film, when you condense, you don't want to keep going back to the same setting over and over. So that's not in there." The settings of certain conversations in the book were also changed to make the scenes more "visually dynamic" on-screen, such as Bella's revelation that she knows Edward is a vampire—this happens in a meadow in the film instead of in Edward's car as in the novel. A biology field trip scene is added to the film to condense the moments of Bella's frustration at trying to explain how Edward saved her from being crushed by a van. The villainous vampires are introduced earlier in the film than in the novel. Rosenberg said that "you don't really see James and the other villains until to the last quarter of the book, which really won't work for a movie. You need that ominous tension right off the bat. We needed to see them and that impending danger from the start. And so I had to create back story for them, what they were up to, to flesh them out a bit as characters." Rosenberg also combined some of the human high school students, with Lauren Mallory and Jessica Stanley in the novel becoming the character of Jessica in the film, and a "compilation of a couple of different human characters" becoming Eric Yorkie. About these variances from the book, Mooradian stated, "I think we did a really judicious job of distilling [the book]. Our greatest critic, Stephenie Meyer, loves the screenplay, and that tells me that we made all the right choices in terms of what to keep and what to lose. Invariably, you're going to lose bits and pieces that certain members of the audience are going to desperately want to see, but there's just a reality that we're not making 'Twilight: The Book' the movie."
When they told me Rob was probably the one, I looked him up and thought, "Yeah, he can do a version of Edward. He’s definitely got that vampire thing going on." And then, when I was on set and I got to watch him go from being Rob to shifting into being Edward, and he actually looked like the Edward in my head, it was a really bizarre experience. [...] He really had it nailed.
Kristen Stewart was on the set of Adventureland when Hardwicke visited her for an informal screen test that "captivated" the director. Hardwicke had trouble finding an actor otherworldly enough to play vampire Edward Cullen. Then she got a call about a guy in London. "I looked at a couple pictures and was like, ‘I’m not sure,’?" Hardwicke says. "He had been fired from his last job, he was unemployed, he was in debt." Pattinson flew to Los Angeles on his own dime to read with Stewart.Shiloh Fernandez, Jackson Rathbone, Ben Barnes, and Robert Pattinson were the final four up for the role of Edward. Hardwicke did not initially choose Robert Pattinson for the role of Edward Cullen, but after an audition at her home with Stewart, he was selected. Hardwicke said, "Kristen was like, ‘It’s got to be Rob!’ She felt connected to him from the first moment. That electricity, or love at first sight, or whatever it is." Hardwicke gave him the part, but he had to make a promise. "You’ve got to realize that Kristen is 17 years old," Hardwicke told him, "She’s underage. You’ve got to focus, dude, or you’re going to be arrested. I made him swear on a stack of Bibles." Pattinson was unfamiliar with the novel series prior to his screen test but read the books later on. Meyer allowed him to view a manuscript of the unfinished Midnight Sun, which chronicles the events in Twilight from Edward's point of view. Fan reaction to Pattinson's casting as Edward was initially negative; Rachelle Lefèvre remarked that "[e]very woman had their own Edward [that] they had to let go of before they could open up to [him], which they did." Meyer was "excited" and "ecstatic" in response to the casting of the two main characters. She had expressed interest in having Emily Browning and Henry Cavill cast as Bella and Edward, respectively, prior to pre-production.
Peter Facinelli was not originally cast as Carlisle Cullen. "[Hardwicke] liked me, but there was another actor that the studio was pushing for", Facinelli said. For unknown reasons, that actor was not able to play the part and Facinelli was selected in his place. The choice of Ashley Greene to portray Alice Cullen was the subject of fan criticism due to Greene being 7 inches (18 cm) taller than her character as described in the novel. Meyer had also stated that Rachael Leigh Cook resembled her vision of Alice.Nikki Reed had previously worked with Hardwicke on Thirteen, which they wrote together, and Lords of Dogtown. Reed commented, "I don't want to say it's a coincidence, because we do work well together, and we have a great history. I think we make good work, but it's more that the people that hire [Hardwicke] to direct a film of theirs [have] most likely seen her other work."
Kellan Lutz was in Africa shooting the HBOminiseriesGeneration Kill when the auditions for the character of Emmett Cullen were conducted. The role had already been cast by the time that production ended in December 2007, but the actor who had been selected "fell through"; Lutz subsequently auditioned and was flown to Oregon, where Hardwicke personally chose him.Rachelle Lefèvre was interested in pursuing a role in the film because Hardwicke was attached to the project as director; there was also "the potential to explore a character, hopefully, over three films"; and she wanted to portray a vampire. She "thought that vampires were basically the best metaphor for human anxiety and questions about being alive."Christian Serratos initially auditioned for Jessica Stanley, but she "fell totally in love with Angela" after reading the novels and successfully took advantage of a later opportunity to audition for Angela Weber. The role of Jessica Stanley went to Anna Kendrick, who got the part after two mix-and-match auditions with various actors.
Filming and post-production
On a bed in Catherine Hardwicke's house is where Pattinson kissed Stewart for the first time for the Twilight screen test. "That bed made Pattinson who he is right now," says Reed. That’s also where Hardwicke auditioned Evan Rachel Wood, when she had her get into her bed with Nikki Reed for the film Thirteen. When asked about her lair, Hardwicke says, "MTV came and did an episode in my house filming the bed. It’s legendary." Principal photography took 44 days, after more than a week of rehearsals, and completed on May 2, 2008. Similar to her directorial debut Thirteen, Hardwicke opted for an extensive use of hand-held cinematography to make the film "feel real". Meyer visited the production set three times and was consulted on different aspects of the story; she also has a brief cameo in the film. Cast members who portrayed vampires avoided sunlight to make their skin pale, though makeup was also applied for that effect, and wore contact lenses: "We did the golden color because the Cullens have those golden eyes. And then, when we're hungry, we have to pop the black ones in," Facinelli explained. They also participated in rehearsals with a dance choreographer and observed the physicality of different panthera to make their bodily movements more elegant.
Scenes were filmed primarily in Portland, Oregon. Stunt work was done mainly by the cast. The fight sequence between Gigandet and Pattinson's characters in a ballet studio, which was filmed during the first week of production, involved a substantial amount of wire work because the vampires in the story have superhuman strength and speed. Gigandet incorporated mixed martial arts fighting moves in this sequence, which involved chicken and honey as substitutes for flesh. Bella, the protagonist, is unconscious during these events, and since the novel is told from her point of view, such action sequences are illustrative and unique to the film. Pattinson noted that maintaining one's center of gravity is difficult when doing wire work "because you have to really fight against it as well as letting it do what it needs to do." Lefèvre found the experience disorienting since forward motion was out of her control.
Instead of shooting at Forks High School itself, scenes taking place at the school were filmed at Kalama High School and Madison High School. Other scenes were filmed in St. Helens, and Hardwicke conducted some reshooting in Pasadena, California, in August.Twilight was originally scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on December 12, 2008, but its release date was changed to November 21 after Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was rescheduled for an opening in July 2009. Two teaser trailers, as well as some additional scenes, were released for the film, as well as a final trailer, which was released on October 9. A 15-minute excerpt of Twilight was presented during the International Rome Film Festival in Italy. The film received a rating of PG-13 from the Motion Picture Association of America for "some violence and a scene of sensuality".
Main article: Twilight (soundtrack)
The score for Twilight was composed by Carter Burwell, with the rest of the soundtrack chosen by music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas. Meyer was consulted on the soundtrack, which includes music by Muse and Linkin Park, bands she listened to while writing the novels. The original soundtrack was released on November 4, 2008, by Chop Shop Records in conjunction with Atlantic Records. It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200.
Twilight grossed over $7 million in ticket sales from midnight showings alone on November 21, 2008. The film is fifth overall on Fandango's list of top advance ticket sales, outranked only by its sequel the following year, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). It grossed $35.7 million on its opening day. For its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, Twilight accumulated $69.6 million from 3,419 theaters at an average of $20,368 per theater. The film grossed $192,769,854 in the United States and Canada, and $199,846,771 in international territories for a total of $392,616,625. Its opening weekend gross was the highest ever of a female-directed film, surpassing that of Deep Impact (1998).
Twilight received mixed reviews from critics. Based on 209 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 48%, with a weighted average score of 5.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Having lost much of its bite transitioning to the big screen, Twilight will please its devoted fans, but do little for the uninitiated." On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 reviews from film critics, it has an average score of 56 from the 37 reviews.New York Press critic Armond White called the film "a genuine pop classic", and praised Hardwicke for turning "Meyer's book series into a Brontë-esque vision."Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four and wrote, "I saw it at a sneak preview. Last time I saw a movie in that same theater, the audience welcomed it as an opportunity to catch up on gossip, texting, and laughing at private jokes. This time the audience was rapt with attention". In his review for the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan wrote, "Twilight is unabashedly a romance. All the story's inherent silliness aside, it is intent on conveying the magic of meeting that one special person you've been waiting for. Maybe it is possible to be 13 and female for a few hours after all".USA Today gave the film two out of four stars and Claudia Puig wrote, "Meyer is said to have been involved in the production of Twilight, but her novel was substantially more absorbing than the unintentionally funny and quickly forgettable film".Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B" rating and Owen Gleiberman praised Hardwicke's direction: "She has reconjured Meyer's novel as a cloudburst mood piece filled with stormy skies, rippling hormones, and understated visual effects".
The film was released on DVD in North America on March 21, 2009, through midnight release parties, and sold over 3 million units in its first day. It was released on April 6, 2009 in the UK. Bonus features include about 10 to 12 extended or deleted scenes, montages and music videos, behind-the-scenes interviews, a "making-of" segment, and commentary featuring Hardwicke, Stewart, and Pattinson. The Blu-ray disc edition of the film was released on March 21, 2009, in select locations, but was made more widely available at further retailers on May 5, 2009. As of July 2012, the film has sold 11,242,519 units, earning $201,190,019.
The film and the next two installments of the Twilight Saga will be rereleased as a triple feature with extended cuts on January 13, 2015.
Main article: Scene it? Twilight
A movie trivia video game developed by Screenlife and published by Konami for the Wii, Nintendo DS, PC and iPhone was released alongside the second film.
Since its release, Twilight has received numerous nominations and awards. In January 2009, Carter Burwell was nominated for Film Composer of the Year by the International Film Music Critics Association.Robert Pattinson won Bravo TV's A-List Award for A-List Breakout. At the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, Pattinson, who was nominated alongside Taylor Lautner, also won an award for Male Breakthrough Performance, "Decode" was nominated for Best Song from a Movie, Twilight won an award for Best Movie, Kristen Stewart won for Best Female performance, Stewart and Pattinson were awarded Best Kiss, and Pattinson and Cam Gigandet won an award for Best Fight.Christian Serratos won a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film: Supporting Young Actress. For the 2009 Teen Choice Awards, held on August 9, the film and its actors received a combined total of 12 nominations, nine of which the film won. At the 2009 Scream Awards, the film was nominated for nine awards, four of which it won. The film won two ALMA Awards for makeup and hairstyling. It also won the Public Choice Award at the World Soundtrack Awards, where Carter Burwell was also nominated for Composer of the Year.Catherine Hardwicke received a Young Hollywood Award for her directing. In addition, the film was nominated for Best Fantasy Film at the 35th Saturn Awards and two Grammy Awards.
Main article: The Twilight Saga: New Moon
MTV reported in February 2008 that Summit Entertainment intended to create a series of at least three films based on Meyer's books. The studio had optioned New Moon, the second book in the series, by October 2008, and confirmed their plans to make a film based on it November 22, 2008. Because Catherine Hardwicke had wanted more preparation time than Summit's schedule for the production and release of the sequel would provide,Chris Weitz was selected to direct it in December 2008.
Bella Swan has always been a little bit different. Never one to run with the crowd, Bella never cared about fitting in with the trendy girls at her Phoenix, Arizona high school. When her mother remarries and Bella chooses to live with her father in the rainy little town of Forks, Washington, she doesn't expect much of anything to change. But things do change when she meets the mysterious and dazzlingly beautiful Edward Cullen. For Edward is nothing like any boy she's ever met. He's nothing like anyone she's ever met, period. He's intelligent and witty, and he seems to see straight into her soul. In no time at all, they are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance - unorthodox because Edward really isn't like the other boys. He can run faster than a mountain lion. He can stop a moving car with his bare hands. Oh, and he hasn't aged since 1918. Like all vampires, he's immortal. That's right - vampire. But he doesn't have fangs - that's just in the movies. And he doesn't drink human blood, though Edward and his family are unique among vampires in that lifestyle choice. To Edward, Bella is that thing he has waited 90 years for - a soul mate. But the closer they get, the more Edward must struggle to resist the primal pull of her scent, which could send him into an uncontrollable frenzy. Somehow or other, they will have to manage their unmanageable love. But when unexpected visitors come to town and realize that there is a human among them Edward must fight to save Bella? A modern, visual, and visceral Romeo and Juliet story of the ultimate forbidden love affair - between vampire and mortal.
Bella is just a regular girl in a new town. Everything is normal until she meets brooding and mysterious Edward Cullen. As they start to get closer she stumbles upon his most deadly secret. She found out he's a vampire. With this on her mind she also notices the gruesome murders that have been happening around town. Will she trust her heart? Or the warning signs going through her head? This love story follows a girl and her vampire boyfriend as they struggle to appear as the normal couple everyone expects them to be.
Isabella Swan moves to gloomy Forks to live with her father. As she starts her junior year in high school she becomes fascinated by Edward Cullen who holds a dark secret which is only known by his family. Edward falls in love with Bella as well but knows the further they progress in their relationship the more he is putting Bella and those close to her at risk. Edward warns Bella that she should leave him but she refuses to listen and to understand why he is saying this. Bella learns his secret. He is a vampire, however she is not afraid of his blood-thirsty needs and the fact he could kill her at any moment. Bella is afraid of losing him, the love of her life. The thrill begins when a new vampire finds it a challenge to hunt Bella down for her irresistible blood. The game is on and James will not stop until she is killed.
Bella Swan is a clumsy, kind hearted teenager with a knack for getting into trouble. Edward Cullen is an intelligent, good looking vampire who is trying to hide his secret. Against all odds, the two fall in love but will a pack of blood thirsty trackers and the disapproval of their family and friends separate them?
Bella Swan was not expecting anything out of the ordinary to happen when she moved to live with her Dad in Forks, Washington. But this where her life truly begins. There she meets Edward Cullen, a mysterious and captivating student at her new high school. Bella soon discovers that Edward is hiding a secret, after he impossibly saves her life from a van with his super-human strength and speed. She is determined to unravel his secret, but the truth is more terrifying than she realized. Edward is a vampire. Any normal person would just keep away from him, but Edward and Bella have fallen passionately and unconditionally in love with each other. And so begins their forbidden relationship between a human and a vampire. But the young lovers soon discover that their troubles are only just about to begin.
—Mel from the Untied Kingdom.
A teenage girl risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire.
The synopsis below may give away important plot points.
- Seventeen-year-old Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has decided to leave sunny Phoenix, Arizona, to spend some time with her father Charlie Swan (Billy Burke), the chief of police in the perpetually cloudy and rainy city of Forks, Washington, on the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula, so that her mother Renée (Sarah Clarke) and her minor league baseball-playing stepfather Phil Dwyer (Matt Bushell) can go on the road together for spring training and perhaps even move to Jacksonville, Florida.
Bella's relationship with her father is cool, even though she hasn't seen him in several years. When she arrives in Forks, he surprises her with the gift of a red pickup truck he purchased from his best friend, Billy Black (Gil Birmingham). Bella remembers making mudpies with Billy's son Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and looks forward to having at least one friend at Forks High School, until Jacob reminds her that he is a Quileute Indian and goes to school on the Reservation. Not to worry. On her first day of school, Bella is befriended by Eric Yorkie (Justin Chon), the school's "eyes and ears", and he introduces her to some of the other students. Everything is looking cool so far.
Cool, that is, until she meets Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Edward is one of five foster kids adopted by Dr Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli) and his wife Esme (Elizabeth Reaser). There's also Alice (Ashley Greene) and Emmett (Kellan Lutz) Cullen and the twins, Rosalie (Nikki Reed) and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) Hale. From the moment Edward lays eyes on Bella, he can't stop scowling at her. When Bella is assigned as Edward's lab partner in Biology, her stepping in front of the classroom fan makes him react as though he's getting sick. After Edward storms out the door when the bell rings, Bella is puzzled as to what she could have done to anger him. When she overhears him in the office attempting to transfer out of Biology, she decides to confront him and ask him what is his problem. However, she doesn't get the chance because Edward is absent for the next several days. When Edward does return to school, he seems changed. He introduces himself to Bella and asks her about herself, her family, and whether or not she likes the cold, rainy climate in Forks. Bella notices that his eyes seem a different color than previously, and he answers awkwardly before walking away. Later that day, as Bella is about to get into her truck, another car careens out of control in the school parking lot. Within seconds, Edward has crossed the lot, pulled Bella out of the way, and seemingly stopped the car with his bare hand, leaving Bella more puzzled than before. When she tries to ask Edward how he did it, he simply chalks it up to an "adrenalin rush" and refuses to talk about it. Further, he says that they probably shouldn't even be friends.
That doesn't stop Bella from asking Edward to be her date when the kids decide to go surfing at La Push Beach on the Indian Reservation, but Edward doesn't show. When the kids are joined on the beach by Jacob Black and two of his friends from the Reservation and they learn that Edward Cullen was supposed to be Bella's date, one of Jacob's friends remarks, "The Cullens don't come here." Later, Bella asks Jacob what was meant by that remark, and Jacob tells her of a Quileute legend that says the Quileutes are descended from wolves whereas the Cullens are descended from an enemy clan. The legend also goes that the Quileutes and the Cullens made a pact that required the Cullens to stay off Quileute land in exchange for the Quileutes keeping it secret what the Cullens really were. Although Jacob calls it just an 'old story,' Bella suspects otherwise. She googles Quileute legends and notices that there is a bookstore in Port Angeles that sells several books on Quileute legends, so she goes along with her new friends, Jessica Stanley (Anna Kendrick) and Angela Weber (Christian Serratos), when they decide to go shopping in Port Angeles for their prom dresses.
After purchasing her books, Bella heads to the restaurant where she planned to meet Jessica and Angela for dinner before heading back to Forks. Along the way, however, she is stopped by four guys with no good on their minds. Suddenly, Edward drives up, forces the guys to back off, and orders Bella to get into the car. When Edward and Bella finally join Jessica and Angela, the girls have already eaten. Edward offers to see that Bella gets some dinner and then to drive her back to Forks, so Jessica and Angela take off, giving Bella and Edward a chance to talk privately. Edward reveals that he was following Bella because he has developed very protective feelings towards her. He also lets it slip that he could read what was in the minds of those low-lifes and that he can read just about anyone's mind...except for hers.
On the drive back to Forks, Bella accidentally touches Edward's hand and is amazed at how cold it is. As they pass the Forks Police Department, they see several police cars, including that of Bella's father, with their lights flashing. Dr Cullen's car is also there, so Bella and Edward stop to see what's happening. They learn from Carlisle that the body of Waylon Forge, a good friend of her father, was just found lying in a boat, dead from what looks like an animal attack, this being the second animal attack to happen near Forks. Later, after Bella has returned home with her father, she starts paging through the books she purchased and comes across a Quileute legend about "The Cold One." Googling it, she learns that "The Cold One," aka Apotamkin, is a fanged creature, described as undead, immortal, possessing incredible speed, strength, and cold skin. It is said to drink human blood and variously equated with other legends about vampires.
The next day, Bella confronts Edward with her findings. He doesn't deny it. He takes her to the top of a mountain, out of the cloud bank, and shows her how a vampire's skin sparkles in the sunlight. He explains how the Cullen family has learned to live on animal blood and consider themselves "vegetarian vampires." Still, he's a killer, he says, and admits that his hostile reaction to her is because her blood smelled so appetizing that he wanted to kill her and feed on her. He's never wanted a human's blood as much as he wants hers. Bella replies that she doesn't care and insists she trusts him to maintain control. Edward goes on to explain that Carlisle turned him in 1918 when he was dying of Spanish influenza and that Waylon was killed by some other vampires...not the Cullens. The relationship between Bella and Edward progresses to the point where Edward decides to take Bella home to meet his family. But suddenly he announces complications and drives away, as Billy and Jacob are arriving at Bella's house. As Edward's car passes theirs, he exchanges suspicious, wary glares with the two. Billy asks Charlie about the investigation into Waylon's death and the conversation shows that Billy suspects what really happened to him; looking knowingly at Bella.
The next day, Edward brings Bella to the Cullen home, a beautiful house on the outskirts of town. Upstairs, Bella finds the Cullens preparing a meal for her, although Bella has already eaten as she knows the Cullens don't eat and didn't expect to be fed. Most of the Cullens are super-welcoming to Bella, especially Alice. Jasper is polite but distant, as refraining from human blood is still difficult for him. The one Cullen who's not pleased with Bella is Rosalie, who is concerned that the relationship between Edward and Bella may end badly (i.e., Edward will end up harming Bella), implicating the entire family and forcing them to move again. However, Edward is super careful not to lose control when he's around Bella, and the relationship continues to grow.
One rainy afternoon, Edward takes Bella out to play baseball with his family. In the middle of the game, three figures come walking out of the mist. Fearfully, the Cullens regroup, hiding Bella behind him. The intruders are the rogue vampires who have been feasting on humans, including Waylon Forge. They introduce themselves as Laurent (Edi Gathegi), Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre), and James (Cam Gigandet) and ask whether they can join the Cullens for a game. Thinking quickly, Carlisle agrees, saying that some of the family were leaving, and Laurent and the others can take their places-- a cue for Edward to get Bella safely away before she is detected. Everyone moves back into the field to take their places. But suddenly, the wind shifts so that James catches Bella's scent and realizes that there is a human in their midst. "You brought a snack," he sneers and heads toward Bella. Edward jumps between them. Laurent backs off and agrees to leave, taking James and Victoria with him. "Get Bella out of here," Carlisle warns Edward. As they quickly drive away, Edward explains to Bella that James is a tracker. Edward's reaction to his catching her scent made this into his most exciting hunt ever, and now he won't give up until he has her. Bella's only salvation is, if they can get to James first, rip him apart, and burn the pieces.
Edward's plan is to catch a ferry to Vancouver, B.C.; but Bella insists on going home first, against Edward's better judgement. They plan a ruse to get Bella quickly in and out of the house without her father knowing what's happening. When Bella gets home, she runs into the house and slams the front door, shouting, "It's over!" at Edward. She then informs her father that she's got to get away from here...now! She packs a nightbag and, against her father's protests, gets in the truck (where Edward is waiting), and they drive away. Unfortunately, James has already tracked Bella to Charlie's house and is on their trail. First, they stop at the Cullens' house, where Laurent has shown up to warn them about James and Victoria. The plan now is for Alice and Jasper to drive Bella south, while the others, including Rosalie and Esme dressed in Bella's clothes, attempt to create a false trail through the woods. It doesn't take long, however, for James to realize that he's been duped.
When James changes his course, Alice senses the change and has a vision of James heading to a ballet studio in Phoenix where Bella once took lessons. While Jasper and Alice check them into a hotel in Phoenix, Bella gets a call on her cellphone from her mother, frantically worried about her. Suddenly, James comes on the line and informs Bella that he got her Phoenix address from Forks High School and arrived there just as her worried mother also got there. If Bella wants to save Renée's life, she must ditch Jasper and Alice and meet James in her old ballet studio. Bella takes a taxi to the studio; but, when she gets there, she finds that it was a trick. James got an old movie from her house, and it was only Renée's voice Bella was hearing. James then taunts her further by threatening to film their "time together" to break Edward's heart.
As the camera rolls, James bats Bella around the room, then breaks her leg. Suddenly, Edward shows up, having gotten there faster than the others because of his greater speed. With their vampire strength, James and Edward toss each other around the room, breaking mirrors and windows with the impact of their bodies. At one point, James manages to swoop down on Bella and bite her arm. Just then, Carlisle, Alice, Emmett, and Jasper show up. Alice races to Bella's side, while Carlisle pulls Edward off James, telling him that Bella needs him more. Overpowered by the smell of Bella's blood, Alice asks Carlisle to take over for her. While Carlisle bends over Bella, Alice breaks James' neck; and she, Jasper, and Emmett start a fire to burn his body. Carlisle says that Bella's femoral artery is severed and she's losing a lot of blood...but even more important is the fact that she's been bitten, and the vampire venom has begun to affect her. Edward has a decision to make...either let the change happen or suck out the venom. Although Alice says she's seen a vision of Bella becoming a vampire, Edward refuses to allow the change, so he decides to suck out the venom even though it means that he might not be able to stop.
When Bella awakens, she is in the hospital, her mother at her side and Edward "asleep" in a chair (he'd previously told Bella that he doesn't require sleep). Bella claims not to remember anything that happened, so Renée tells her how Edward and his father came down from Forks to persuade her to return; and, when Bella went to see them at their hotel, she tripped, fell down two flights of stairs, broke her leg, went through a window, and lost a lot of blood. The story is believable because Bella is a very clumsy and awkward person. When Renée leaves to get Charlie, who's waiting in the hospital cafeteria, Edward quickly "wakes up." He tells Bella that they took care of James and that Victoria ran off. Then he lowers the boom. He wants Bella to move to Jacksonville with her mother so that she can't be hurt anymore by her association with him. Bella refuses.
Bella moves back to Forks with her dad. With her leg still in a cast, Bella attends the prom with Edward. When Edward goes off to park the car, Jacob sits down next to Bella. He tells her that his father wants her to break up with Edward and that he sent a warning: "We'll be watching you." Bella laughs. Later, as Bella and Edward dance in the gazebo, she asks him why he didn't let her turn. "If you just let the venom spread," she says, "I could be like you by now." She informs him that she's made the decision to be with him forever and offers him her neck. Edward bends over to bite her neck but ends up simply kissing it. "Is it not enough just to have a long and happy life with me?" he asks. "For now," Bella replies.
From a window overlooking the gazebo, Victoria watches Bella and Edward kiss. She turns away, lets down her hair, and smiles to herself.