Changed/Additional Scenes

Discussion of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

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Re: Changed/Additional Scenes

Postby alphanubilus » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:55 am

Firstly and foremostly, there is a HUGE difference between writing a novel and writing a movie. Everyone loves to beat Melissa down, but the reality is, EVERYTHING she has altered or changed was approved upon by Stephenie as well as Summit. A novel, by default, makes a bad movie, and it isn't designed for movies... Visa Versa. I have yet to see a novel completely translated to the screen without changes, because they can't. Lord of the Rings, as good as the book is, was altered quite a bit for the film. The movies were really good, because Peter Jackson and his wife new what needed to be changed to make the story work for the screen. While purests will cry fowl, the over all end package was great.

In many ways, Melissa restrained herself for the sake of fans. Remember, Summit wasn't the first studio to make Stephenie an offer. They probably would have paid a lot more, and spent a LOT more on the movie, than Summit did, BUT they also wanted to take full control of the story and rewrite it. It might have created a better movie, such as was done for Jurassic Park, of which was one of the highest grossing movies of that time, but fans would have been upset.

So Melissa is walking a fine line. She's trying to adapt the movies the best she can for the big screen. IF she had written the fight scenes to show just how easily all the Cullens and wolves could have defeated Victoria's army, there would have been absolutely NO drama. If the audiance doesn't feel the drama, I don't care how freaky and scared Bella looks, it ain't going to work. Sorry folks, that's how this biz works.

As for missing scenes that I wish they would have put in...

I would have liked them to rework the scene where Bella reclines on Jacob's wolfy back. They sort of incorporated it somewhat into the final product, but I thought her laying across his back would have been a bit more tender. I also thought it was strange that they didn't include Jacob running away in wolf form at the end. I take it, they don't plan on him running away then... It makes me wonder, if they plan to ignore his thoughts completely and just keep BD in Bella's perspective. hmmm...
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Re: Changed/Additional Scenes

Postby Jazz Girl » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:17 am

Alpha~ I completely agree with you. The overall outcome of Eclipse was great. But, I have to correct one statement you made. Actually, SM DID NOT approve all of the changes that MR made. In the fansite interviews (the link to which is here) she talks openly about having several issues with some of the changes that MR made, in fact hinting that many of those issues go all the way back to Twilight in terms of what parts of SM's mythology were worked in in how they characterized Edward. She says often that she would voice her concerns to MR, DS and Summit and was overruled more often than not. In fact, she says quite plainly that there were times (one specifically) that she had to leave the set because what she saw playing out in filming was so radically different from what she saw in her head while writing. Yes, we're all pretty happy with the direction this film took. But, there were ways it could have been truer to the novels without sacrificing the drama.
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Re: Changed/Additional Scenes

Postby alphanubilus » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:54 pm

Gotcha... I hadn't read that interview... I was going by what MR had stated during one of her own interviews... but even still, I don't know of any book where they didn't have to make changes from novel to movie adaptations. I think we all have to realize that movies have a life and world of their own, and even though they are "based" on core material, have to be seen as seperate entities. This is always the case. Sometimes the radical changes work well with the book/movie conversion, sometimes not so much. Take a look at C. S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" series. The films, while protraying the spirit of the books, are almost always completely different. In the "Lion, Witch, & the Wardrobe" there isn't a final battle. You hear of it, but never read about it. When they made the movie, they wanted to SHOW you what Lewis had only hinted at. There were a number of changes made in, "Prince Caspian" as well, added a lot of action, in a rather action deprived book. In both cases it worked well for the film adaptation.

Then you have a series like the Bourne series of which only follow the books as far as the names go. The movies are completely different than the books. While the movies are still good as they are, they aren't a direct reflection of the novels. It happens.

Jurassic Park was the same way. As was Jaws.

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Re: Changed/Additional Scenes

Postby Jestak » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:43 pm

alphanubilus wrote:Firstly and foremostly, there is a HUGE difference between writing a novel and writing a movie. Everyone loves to beat Melissa down, but the reality is, EVERYTHING she has altered or changed was approved upon by Stephenie as well as Summit. A novel, by default, makes a bad movie, and it isn't designed for movies...


I would partly disagree here. Yes, a novel is a different medium than a movie, and it isn't easy to adapt a novel for the screen. At the same time, I can think of a goodly number of cases where the film adaptation of a novel is strongly faithful to the spirit of the novel, even though, of course, the entire novel doesn't find its way on screen.

One excellent example: I have seen The Godfather several times, and I've also read Mario Puzo's novel multiple times. When I first read the novel, having seen the movie previously, I was struck by how much of the core story of the novel found its way onscreen. Aside from the segments about Don Corleone's early life (which were included in the second movie), and the secondary plot-lines about Lucy Mancini and Johnny Fontaine, the bulk of the novel can be seen in the film. Moreover, the characters from the novel are clearly recognizable onscreen as well. Other highly faithful adaptations that come to mind pretty quickly: John Huston's version of The Maltese Falcon, Sidney Lumet's Murder on the Orient Express. Richard Lester's Three Musketeers films, the recent French adaptation of Harlan Coben's Tell No One, and Clint Eastwood's Mystic River.

Some novels, of course, are easier to adapt to the screen than others. The Jason Bourne movies, as you noted, have virtually nothing of Robert Ludlum's novels other than a few names of characters, and a handful of story elements in the first film. Ludlum's over the top plotting probably made that unavoidable. The Lord of the Rings trilogy weren't easy to adapt for film, and as you note, Peter Jackson made some significant alterations; however, as a longtime Tolkien fan, I think he was about as faithful to his source material as could have been expected.

I can't speak for others here, but my own disappointment with the films is because I think it would have been possible to make them both better films, and more faithful to the novels that we love. I think there were two problems with the adaptations: 1) the insistence, which I presume was from Summit, on keeping the films to running times of about 120 minutes, and 2) Melissa Rosenberg's writing, which I think is often "by the numbers" and fails to really understand the characters. What I would have really liked to have seen is movies which took a little more time to develop the story, and writing that really "got" the characters.
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Re: Changed/Additional Scenes

Postby alphanubilus » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:34 pm

Whoa...whoa... whoa... moving length? Only the most crazed fan would have sat through a 3 to 4 hour Edward swoon. There just isn't enough content to justify making any of the movies that long. The Godfather is in an entirly different catagory. The novels were epic along with the scriptwriting. SM's books are great, fun reads, but again you can't compare them to literaly legends... Not even the Harry Potter novels can yet acclaim that prize. They can fit the movies into 2 to 2.5 hr catagories without a problem.

The biggest mistake is Summit's low budget take of the films. Without question the Twilight Saga was a mega hit long before Summit came along. Once they optioned the books to be made into movies, they should have spent real money on the franchise. They were too cheap, and the first Twilight movie felt it. I think Catherine had the right idea...keep it a personal love story, but I think an $80 mil budget would have worked wonders, especially in the effects catagory. I think they should have also worked into Edward's backstory a bit. I think it is important to understand (in the first film) the dangers of the vampire world. To see Edward during his rebellious years. While the first novel doesn't go into it, it is something we need to see to understand why he is dangerous to Bella... alas...

The first two movies... both Twilight and New Moon, felt like cookie cutter step by step progessions of the books. If you look at the first 4 Harry Potter films, the directors, writers, and such captured the spirit of the novels, and even though much of the movies were different than the books, it really helped the films flow. The later Yale films are chopped up hackeny versions of the books, and thusly feel ridged and half baked.

The Slade/ Eclipse movie, as many critics have agreed upon, is the first Twilight movie that actually felt like a solid film, as in my opinion it had a scene by scene flow that felt natural, where as the others didn't.

You're right... Summit, MR, and co should have captured the spirit of the books, and while they would have made much better movies, the purest fans would have rebelled. As MR has already stated it is push and pull job. She walks a fine line.

In short... if you want the book... read the book... If you want a good movie... allow them to make a good movie. If the changes help better tell the story... great... if they don't... well we'll let Summit and co know.

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Re: Changed/Additional Scenes

Postby Jestak » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:34 am

alphanubilus wrote:Whoa...whoa... whoa... moving length? Only the most crazed fan would have sat through a 3 to 4 hour Edward swoon. There just isn't enough content to justify making any of the movies that long. The Godfather is in an entirly different catagory. The novels were epic along with the scriptwriting. SM's books are great, fun reads, but again you can't compare them to literaly legends... Not even the Harry Potter novels can yet acclaim that prize. They can fit the movies into 2 to 2.5 hr catagories without a problem.


Perhaps I gave the wrong impression by referring to The Godfather, but I did not mean to suggest a 3-4 hour running length for the Twilight films. I am thinking more in terms of running times about 15-20 minutes longer than they've actually run. That would still be shorter than, for example, most of the Harry Potter films, which have generally run 150-160 minutes. You could do quite a bit in terms of story development with an extra 15-20 minutes to work with.
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Re: Changed/Additional Scenes

Postby alphanubilus » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:04 am

Jestak wrote:Perhaps I gave the wrong impression by referring to The Godfather, but I did not mean to suggest a 3-4 hour running length for the Twilight films. I am thinking more in terms of running times about 15-20 minutes longer than they've actually run. That would still be shorter than, for example, most of the Harry Potter films, which have generally run 150-160 minutes. You could do quite a bit in terms of story development with an extra 15-20 minutes to work with.


Action films tend to run longer due to the fact that they are action films, but generally speaking most movies have a run time between 90 - 120 min. As a screenwriter, while my script can start out at a behemoth 130 to 140 pages, with careful editing and one to two solid rewrites, I can generally get it down to 106 to 114 pages, and you still have the same solid good story.

The Harry Potter films are basically children's action movies. The earlier movies, much like the books, were not very long at all, but as the later novels turned more actiony, so did the movies, and thus the longer run times. The Twilight Saga is first and foremostly a love story. The first film, especially...

In truth, had they filmed the first movie, more along the style of "Edward Scissorhands" it would have endured better. The really funny thing about the two films, is that they are a lot a like in many ways. They have the same plot... A fragle human being falls in love with a monster... Monster has to find alternate means to show affection, as said monster could easily kill...said fragle human. It's like Beauty and the Beast. Both female leads have a quasi revulsion to the male lead at the beginning. Both overcome their initial misconceptions of the hero lead, and both are eventually rescued at the end with a dramatic battle.

In Scissorhands, it's Edward's hands that won't allow him to embrace the woman he loves. In Twilight... It's Edward's lust for her blood. He's a vampire.

In short if they wanted to successfully show the first story, they should have focused on A. the innocense and naivety of Bella... B. The dangers of the vampire and their world. C. How the two lovers overcome their bleak situation to be with each other.

It may not follow the novel like a step by step progression, but it would not only capture what Stephenie's story, it would make the movie flow that much better.

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Re: Changed/Additional Scenes

Postby GrayceM » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:23 pm

SwanCullen wrote:I wish they would have included the scene where Bella and Jake are at her house and he cuts himsself and she almost faints because of the blood.


Me too! This was such a good scene but I think there was more conversation and interactions than they had time to show for those scenes that we're missing. Like Alice asking to do the wedding...
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