Summit Entertainment is doing cartwheels. That’s because they’re already in production on a movie, Twilight, based on the first book in a
trilogy vampire saga by book phenom Stephenie Meyer.
The 34-year-old Mormon author just landed a takeout in Time Magazine calling her the new queen of fantasy with the head: The Next J.K. Rowling? The article praises Meyer’s books for being about the “erotics of abstinence.” She “rewrites stock horror plots as love stories.”
She’s basically the young adult Anne Rice, because Twilight is a romantic 17-year-old Romeo and Juliet with vampires and humans. Rising star Kristen Stewart (
discovered by Jon Favreau in Zathura, Panic Room) plays a girl who falls for a handsome guy (Robert Pattinson, of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) who turns out to be a vampire. But he’s a good vampire who has renounced sucking human blood. He and his mother coven feed on animals. His virtue–his psychological struggle against his lust for blood–makes him interesting. The movie, directed by thirteen’s Catherine Hardwicke, is due December 12.
Vampires have fed Hollywood since its infancy, from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Nosferatu to Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Underworld series. But this series has femme appeal.
When Summit slapped a teaser trailer up on MySpace on Monday at 11 AM, it pulled 1 million views in 36 hours and has now passed 2 million. The teaser will premiere on E.T. Friday, and will run in front of family-friendly Speed Racer (maybe that will boost its ticket sales). “I would have been happy with 500,000,” says Summit chief Rob Friedman, who scooped up the rights to Twilight when it had sold 10,000 copies just after he started Summit’s new production/distrib arm. Paramount had the option and let it go. Since then the first three Twilight books have sold over 6 million copies in the U.S. “I knew the book had a fan base but it’s always good to see it’s bigger than you think,” says Friedman, who has a potential franchise on his hands. This is what any new company lusts after.
UPDATE: Wired is also tracking this. The trailer could break the current record of 4.1 million views in one week set in March by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The internet fan buzz on this is so intense that Summit marketing may want to consider pulling back a tad.
Here’s the HD teaser trailer:
[Illustration for Time by Anita Kunz]
[Originally appeared on Variety.com]