Not to be outdone by the impending Harry Potter TV series, the Twilight craze, too, is raging on.
According to Variety, a televised adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s wildly popular vampire book series is in the very early stages of development at Lionsgate TV, to the point where it doesn’t have a network or even a writer yet. But the notion of a TV series tackling the books—which have already been adapted into a juggernaut five-film franchise that grossed $3.3 billion worldwide and launched the careers of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson—could potentially be paradigm-shifting (not to be hyperbolic or anything).
The Twilight saga, if you were living under a rock for the duration of the mid-aughts, tells the story of Bella Swan (Stewart), an unassuming teenager who falls for Edward Cullen (Pattinson), a much older vampire (104, to be exact) who is permanently frozen in the body of a 17-year-old.
It’s easy to look back back on the phenomenon now with an adult’s ironic grin, but I was a tween when the first Twilight book came out, and I devoured the books exactly as they were intended to be consumed: I took everything completely seriously, because I was completely serious about Edward and Bella’s star-crossed romance. And I was swept away by it all: the moodiness of the misty Pacific Northwest setting; the love triangle of Bella, Edward, and her werewolf BFF Jacob; and the fraught dilemma of when, if ever, Edward and Bella were gonna bang.
If the Twilight TV show makes it to the casting stage, Hollywood’s fresh crop of ingenue actors will have some very big shoes to fill. Stewart and Pattinson became instant cultural phenomenons (no doubt boosted by their off-screen romance) upon the release of the first movie, which came out of nowhere to become, at the time, the highest-grossing live-action, female-directed film, raking in $192.8 million in its opening weekend.
Another note: A crucial element to the success of the films, arguably, was the commitment to producing consistently sterling soundtracks, which featured the likes of Paramore, Bon Iver and St. Vincent, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Lionsgate better have a big budget.