From bookshelves to big screen

By Jake Verterano
December 4, 2008

“I’d never given much thought to how I would die – Surely, it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved.”

Audience’s leaned to the edge of their tiny padded chairs as “Twilight” character Bella Swan uttered these poetic words across theatre screens.

“Twilight” is the latest book phenomenon to grace the silver screen as of Nov. 19.

“I went to see the midnight showing and it was incredible,” Michaela Enriquez, junior human resources major, said. “I had always painted a picture in my head of how the scenes would play out and this movie completely changed it for the better.”

Enriquez was just one of many fans who attended midnight showings across the globe. Fans showed their loyalty by adorning black t-shirts with their favorite quotes from the book labeled across them.

“I cannot wait to see Edward’s gorgeous face on the screen,” Michelle Oulett, a fan who attended the midnight showing of the flim, said. She proudly smiled as she wiped a few popcorn kernels off of her t-shirt that read “how long have you been seventeen,” one of the book’s most famous quotes.

The King of Prussia Regal Cinemas was packed on the evening of Nov. 19 as fans began showing up as early as 7 p.m.

“We had to open up extra theatres just for the midnight showing,” Mark Randolph, an employee at the theatre, said. “It was so crowded. A few news crews even showed up to get in on the mayhem.”

As the credits finally rolled up the screen at the end of the movie, the vampire crazed audience headed out with smiles on their face.

“I’m so glad they made this movie,” Oulett said. “I had painted an image of Edward in my head, and my vision did not do Rob Pattison justice.”

Pattison starred in the film as Edward Cullen, a member of a family of vampires. Kristen Stewart played Bella Swan, the love interest of Edward.

The lovers’ foe, James, was played by Cam Gigandet. The movie incorporated a large cast of young characters that would appeal to it’s audience.

“Twilight” opened to a satisfying $ 70 million first weekend. Due to it’s success, the second novel in the vampire love saga will now be made into a movie. “Eclipse” can be expected to debut within the next two to three years in movies.

“Twilight” is following in the path of other books gone to film such as the “Lord of the Rings” series and the “Harry Potter” novels.

“I think it’s great to see books I read become movies, but it kind of ruins it for me,” Justin Sillner, freshman communication major, said. “It’s kind of like it destroys everything you’ve imagined the book to be like in your head.”

While Sillner makes a valid point, there is no denying that movies based on books draw a much larger audience. “Lord of the Rings,” “Harry Potter,” “The DaVinci Code” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” are all book series that have capitalized on the success of converting to film.

“It doesn’t matter what the film’s interpretation of the book is,” Daniel DiPasquale, junior human resources major, said. “If the movie is raking in numbers in the billions, then there is no need to complain.”

Movie studios certainly seem to agree with that logic. “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” the sixth installment of the series, will debut in theatres this summer.

Tom Hanks will also star in “Angels & Demons,” which is the sequel to his 2006 success, “The Da Vinci Code.”

“I guess it’s not too bad,” Sillner said. “At least more people are buying the books.”

“I can’t wait for another book to go the movie route,” Enriquez said. “It’s a little bit more enjoyable, plus you don’t have to turn the page.”

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Jake Verterano

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