Twilight is coming back. Sort of. Only two years after Breaking Dawn, Part 2 brought us the weirdest mash-up of non-starter epic battle and creepy baby/werewolf love affair (it’s only been two years?) Lionsgate and Stephenie Meyer are teaming up to make a slew of new Twilight-inspired short films. The twist is that these short films will be created by five aspiring female directors. So, basically fanfiction. Oh, and the films are premiering on Facebook.
That’s a lot to take in, so let’s break this down point by point. Hold on tight, spider monkeys.
This announcement comes from The New York Times. The short film series, called The Storytellers—New Creative Voices of The Twilight Saga, has the backing of Women in Film, an organization devoted to narrowing the gender gap in Hollywood.
Aspiring female directors are invited to submit short films based on characters from The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide. A panel including Meyer, Kristen Stewart, Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer, Catherine Hardwicke, and Frozen director Jennifer Lee will choose the five winning mini-movies, which will then premiere on Facebook.
“We think Facebook is a great way for us to introduce the world of Twilight to a whole new audience while re-energizing existing fans,” Lionsgate’s vice chairman Michael Burns said.
So… what can we expect from this officially-sanctioned fanfic? The Times noted that the main cast members are not expected to star in the films, so fans will miss out on the opportunity to moon over Edward and Bella some more. (Fortunately, they’ve got Fifty Shades of Grey for that.) Instead, it sounds like the winning films will go all Tales From the Mos Eisley Cantina, focusing on supporting characters from Forks, Volterra, and everywhere in-between.
It’s also a bit odd that this female empowerment comes from the notoriously problematic Twilight. Don’t get me wrong—the panel is incredibly impressive! I want them to judge all lady-centric projects. But I’d rather see it arranged around a franchise where the heroine is emotionally self-sufficient and not defined by a love triangle.
The Times wisely identifies this project as a marketing effort to keep the Twilight fandom at a constant low boil while they figure out what to do next. Indeed, Burns teases:
This is the just the beginning—a template, if you will. You can probably guess what might be coming next.
JACOB/RENESMEE? Tell me it’s Jacob/Renesmee.
If you’re interested in following along, you can sign up at crowdsourcing site Tongal for updates.
Natalie Zutter writes plays about superheroes and sex robots, articles about celebrity conspiracy theories, and Tumblr rants about fandom. You can find her commenting on pop culture and giggling over Internet memes on Twitter.