Apparently the first draft of the Twilight film featured an FBI chase on jet skis and Bella Swan shooting a vampire with a shotgun, and I hate to be the one to say it, but that sounds like a Twilight and Mission Impossible crossover fanfiction.
The details came out on an episode of The Big Hit Show podcast, which did a deep dive into the original script of the first Twilight film. The ep featured a load of people involved on the first film including Mark Lord, who wrote that very first screenplay.
If you’ve never heard the details of the first script buckle in, cos it’s an absolute doozy.
Originally, the movie rights for Twilight were bought by MTV Films (which is part of Paramount Pictures), who commissioned Mark Lord to write the script.
However, a higher up at Paramount ultimately canned the film because in his opinion, people didn’t like watching films about werewolves. Obviously, that man was wrong. Every movie ever made would be improved with the inclusion of werewolves.
Lord’s OG script then went over to Summit Entertainment (who would eventually produce all the films), but Stephanie Meyer hated the first script so much that she considered bowing out of making a film adaptation altogether.
Summit’s eventual script won Meyer back over and formed the basis of the films we know and love-slash-hate-slash-tolerate-for-nostalgia-reasons today.
According to Lord on the podcast, his original pitch for the adaptation was a Romeo & Juliet style love story, but the studio wanted it to be more action packed.
“They wanted to just put in some more action to advance it more and give something more for the male audience. They thought they were going to lose the male audience with too much of a romance,” he said.
Look, I’m not saying Twilight is a feminist text, but god forbid men watch and enjoy a film about romance! God forbid we give them the option!
Also, there is literally a baseball match between a load of vampires set to a Muse song. If that doesn’t satisfy you, then a jet ski certainly won’t.
Lord also wanted to make Bella a star runner in the film, which she is not in the books. Representation for all my unathletic queens, please.
Alex Pappademas, the podcast’s host, asked Lord if it was true that the script featured Bella shooting vampires with a shotgun.
“Probably, sure, it’s bad ass,” he said.
“I want that girl to shoot some vampires, I wanted her blow some shit away.”
Gillian Bohrer, a creative executive who ended up overseeing the Twilight films at Summit said the original script also had famed DILF Charlie Swan dying, which would have been a tragedy for modern cinema.
“I remember that there was a boat chase in one scene, I remember that there’s a barn that burned down, and I remember that Bella’s dad died and then Bella got turned into a vampire, like all that happens in the first story,” she said.
So much to unpack there: why a boat chase? Who burned down the barn and why? Why would anyone ever try and kill off Charlie Swan?
And according to Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first film, “the original script literally had Bella on jet skis being chased by the FBI”.
The film’s script — and the script for the following four films — was eventually written by Melissa Rosenberg, sans any jet skis, shotguns or unnecessary running.
She reckons that part of the reason the film resonated so much with young women when it came out was because so much of the production team were also women.
“It’s interesting that the first writer on it was a man and it led to jet skis and shotguns in order to deal with the challenge of making Bella proactive. And then when you put women on it, we go in the direction of character,” she told the podcast.
“The book is written from a woman’s point of view, the adaptation is written from a woman’s point of view, the direction of the first movie was directed from a woman’s point of view. So it was very much a female gaze from its origin.”
And look, we do, of course love the female gaze.
However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to hear Robert Pattinson’s thoughts on a vampire jet ski chase. Just imagine that director’s cut commentary.