'Breaking Dawn' screenwriter addresses controversy over the film's story
'Breaking Dawn' screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg counters charges that heroine Bella is anti-feminist and that the movie is pro-life.
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Though author Stephenie Meyer has been on board as a producer for each film, Rosenberg has in some ways been the behind-the-scenes creative constant of the film franchise, (though she does credit Meyer for her work as the “the guardian of the world”). Each film has had a new director: Catherine Hardwicke for Twilight, Chris Weitz for New Moon, David Slade for Eclipse and of course, Bill Condon for Breaking Dawn.Skip to next paragraph
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Although Rosenberg says they are all “extremely different,” she does contend that everyone involved in the project has been committed to adapting the book rather than using, “the book as a suggestion for the movie, as often happens.”
”I had very little time to write “Twilight.” So actually Catherine was probably closer to the Bill experience. I’d write an act and then would get notes and feedback immediately. I had five weeks to write that script because we were fighting the deadline of the writers strike. So she was very involved with instant feedback. Chris Weitz is also a very talented writer. His process is a little bit different. I finished the script before he came on board, and so I did a round of notes with him and then he took his own production polishes for himself. Which if you’re going to ask someone to do that, it should be Chris. David Slade is not a screenwriter and he thinks very, very visually and he works a lot with storyboards. So, I’d work with him and he’d be acting out certain parts and he, like Bill, wanted everything on the page. He shoots what’s on the page and so that had to be very detailed.”
“And then Bill, I have to say, was just an extraordinary collaboration. He’s a writers dream. If you’re a writer/director it could be easier to take the script and do your own work on it. The other kind of writer/director knows your language, and knows what you need in order to do the best possible job. He was pushing me further, and deeper, with each draft. Bill is an Academy Award winning screenwriter (for “Gods and Monsters”). So he’s a storyteller, first and foremost. Certainly he understands character and emotional complexity and theme. And this is a very grown up-story. It’s a very emotionally complex story. This isn’t a high school girl being the new kid on the block. This is a young woman choosing to have a child. There are some pretty complicated emotions going on, this is the story of a marriage and the problems of a marriage. Se he just kept taking it deeper and deeper and deeper and pushing me further and further and further and bringing out everything he could get out of me.”
Rosenberg continues to move forward with her goal to create strong roles for women with her production company, Tall Girls (though she did do a production polish on the more male-centric Highlander and says it was “fun to play in that world”).
“I want to create great, complex, interesting roles for women,” she said. “When I say strong I don’t mean noble. I mean intense. I want to see complicated, damaged, flawed women — who also kick-ass a little bit, that would be nice. I want to see the female Iron Man, the female Tony Soprano.”
She is penning a drama for ABC, but also has a project more in line with her current franchise at Paramount: An adaptation of Pamela Sargent’s 1983 YA novel “Earthseed” in which human genetic material is sent into space to find and seed another planet. Rosenberg describes the film as “‘Lord of the Flies’ in space. It’s a young cast with extraordinarily adult themes.”
Roth Cornet blogs at Screen Rant.