LOS ANGELES — No matter how many times they have read the last book in her supernaturally popular “Twilight Saga,” Stephenie Meyer expects even devoted “Twihard” fans will be shocked when they see the ending of the big-screen adaptation “Breaking Dawn — Part 2.”
After all, the movie's third act even took her by surprise when she saw the finished film, opening Friday in theaters.
“It does feel very surprising. I still, watching it, have that (moment) where I go, ‘Oh, oh, right. We did that, didn't we?' So definitely there's something new to see. But to me, it doesn't feel like it's going like hugely off the page at all,” said Meyer, sitting between producer Wyck Godfrey and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg during a recent news conference.
Before they even knew that “Breaking Dawn” — the fourth and final book in the record-smashing “Twilight Saga” — would be split into two movies, Meyer, who also served as a producer on the two-part finale, and Rosenberg, who took all the “Twilight” novels from page to screen, sat down in a steakhouse to plot out a satisfying cinematic conclusion for the blockbuster franchise.
“I wouldn't call it an alternate ending,” Meyer told journalists gathered in the Four Seasons Hotel ballroom. “The end was something that we knew had to be cracked. And we sat there and hashed it out and ... in a way, I feel like it's kind of off screen in the novel because we only see what Bella sees. And this was just a way of making visual what some of the other characters might have been seeing.”
“Breaking Dawn — Part 2” picks up immediately where its predecessor left off, with heroine Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) experiencing her first moments as a newly transformed vampire. While her immortal husband, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), reintroduces her to his coven, Bella also reunites with her werewolf pal Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and meets the half-human/half-vampire daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), she carried and birthed as a human.
As Bella adjusts to her new life as a vampire, wife and mother, the Cullens face a new threat when the ruling clan the Volturi accuses them of an unpardonable crime.
Transforming Meyer's last “Twilight” book into two big-screen adventures wasn't easy. Since the debut of the first film in 2008, the author, 38, had fretted about the cinematic portrayal of Renesmee, who not only has supernatural abilities but also grows at a rapidly accelerated rate. Eventually, Mackenzie Foy, who turned 10 during the concurrent filming of the “Breaking Dawn” movies, was cast to play Renesmee through all her developmental stages.