director Catherine Hardwicke was just a few weeks away from the start of production in Twilight, its adaptation in 2008 of the successful Y.A. series of vampires, when he received an alarming note from the studio of the movie, Summit Entertainment. "They came up to me and said, 'You have to find a way to cut $ 4 million off the budget in the next four days, or we're eliminating the problem,'" he recalled in a recent interview, 10 years later. . The premiere of the movie.
Hardwicke and his team ran through the script, erasing action sequences, generating effects, eliminating everything they could from their already relatively scarce budget. In total, they would spend around $ 37 million, including the marketing and purchase of the book rights to Paramount. Hardwicke kept hoping that once the executives saw what they had to cut back to meet their demand: great tricks and traps, like a magic franchise movie, they would realize the error of their ways.
Alas: "They did not," said Hardwicke, laughing. "They said: 'Great, I'm glad you cut it.' And then we made the movie."
A decade later, what Hardwicke was able to do with that budget remains miraculous. Twilight, The story of a teenage girl who falls in love with an amazingly beautiful family of vampires, now celebrated with a special Blu-ray and 4K release from Lionsgate, earned $ 69 million in her first weekend. Over time, it raised $ 393 million worldwide, generating four more films and catalysing a Y.A. The rise of the franchise that gave rise to series like The Hunger Games Y Divergent, just like him Fifty shades franchise (in itself, originally, in Twilight fanfiction) and the cinematic work of post-blockbuster stars. Kristen Stewart Y Robert Pattinson.
Not bad, considering that an executive once told Hardwicke that her movie could be interesting, at most, for some 400 girls in Salt Lake City.
"They kept saying that to bring down the cost, but at that time it was a perfect storm," said the director.
Summit initially recruited Hardwicke based on his previous work, gritty stories about teenagers, how Thirteen Y The masters of Dogtown.. The company gave him five potential scripts, including Twilight– All of which she rejected. "I did not answer any of them," he said. "I just threw them in the trash." It was not until she read Stephenie Meyer book for her that she realized Twilight He had potential. Hooked by his desperate romance, Hardwicke returned to Summit and asked if he could tackle the film, as long as he could rework the script. She got the green light.
From there, he began to look for stars to play his protagonists: a teenage girl and the melancholic vampire he loves. He found Bella at Stewart, then a star on the independent circuit that had just made a memorable turn. Within the wild. To track down the perfect Edward, Hardwicke conducted chemistry tests between Stewart and four possible co-stars. "It was like the central blind date," said Hardwicke. "I knew Michael Angarano, her boyfriend at that time, because he was in [my film] The masters of Dogtown, so I kind of felt guilty. I like it, Oh, my God, I'm having your girlfriend kiss these other guys!"
Hardwicke and Stewart finally decided on Pattinson, another rising star whose biggest credit so far was the condemned Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But after getting the part, the young actor almost ruined everything when it came time to win over Summit executives. He showed up at his initial meeting with a particularly disheveled appearance, wearing a dirty shirt and sporting a bad hair dye from his last acting concert.
"I was a little disheveled," Hardwicke admitted. Executives were not impressed: "Can this guy look? good? She remembered they were asking, Hardwicke assured them that with a little cleaning, she would turn into a handsome and thoughtful ethereal movie star, she got her way and the adaptation went into action, a sparkling vampire franchise was born.
After the box office success of the film, Pattinson and Stewart instantly rose to full-blown stardom. Although both could have stuck to box office successes, each won critical acclaim as they lean more towards smaller and more authoritative offers in their later publications.Twilight years. Hardwicke decided not to direct the second one. Twilight film, because it would require a very tight turn; If I had said yes, I would hardly have had the opportunity to breathe after the post-production and promotion of the first film. (Twilight It came out in November 2008; New Moon It came to theaters a year later.
The director was not initially worried about what would come next for her. After all, she had just turned around a huge blockbuster with a relatively tight budget, attracting a lot of devoted fans in the process; The offers should have been coming.
But Hardwicke discovered that he could not even enter the room for certain concerts. Instead, it was like a madness why her movie started to move forward, without her, or directors like her. After TwilightThe success, says Hardwicke, was four more Twilights three on the big screen Divergent, four The Hunger Games-And "none of them was directed by women," she said, still incredulous. "That was a lack of love for me. There are other rude women who could have done that. "
It is a problem that goes beyond Y.A. rate, said Hardwicke. Hollywood has a tendency to deliver projects written and performed by women to filmmakers: "There are many projects like that," he said, reviewing a list of examples. "It goes on and on, it's stories written by women, about women, and delivered to male directors, over and over again."
Hardwicke thanks, at least, that she is no longer one of the only directors that launches an important franchise; Sam Taylor-Johnson (who led the first Fifty shades) Y Patty Jenkins (of Wonder Woman fame) have picked up the torch. "Patty kicked everyone in the ass," Hardwicke said, though Jenkins only had that chance after a long fallow period. Fourteen years passed between his Academy Award-winning film Monster and the launching of Wonder Woman. Hardwicke, too, has a surprisingly short list of credits since he directed Twilight: a handful of television episodes, two indies, and Red Riding Hood, A study that reimagines the old fairy tale starring. Amanda Seyfried. The 2011 film ended up being disappointing at the box office and was swayed by critics, which impeded a new momentum in Hardwicke's successful career.
But after that period of immersion, his next slate looks full again; She recently completed an adaptation in English of the Mexican thriller. Miss bullet starring Gina Rodriguez Y Anthony Mackie, that will be released by Sony, and is working on a fantasy project called Dissonance. Hardwicke also continues to attract the attention of producers who look for her at events and tell her about the exciting projects run by women they are working on. However, often, when asked if there are female directors on board, they will resist. "I've had producers who say, & # 39; We tried to have diversity. "He tried and hired a white man again, so how hard did you try?" he asked.
Hardwicke sighed. "Anyway, thinking positive."