Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.
Today’s Twilight panel screened the first seven minutes of final installment and it looks as wildly over the top as director Bill Condon’s previous installment. As promised there was a first glimpse of The Host, based on another of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer‘s other bestseller. Comic-Con’s David Glanzer introduced the Twilight panel with a tribute to Gisella, the fan who was killed in traffic. Upon being reminded that it’s the final Twilight panel, crowd reaction was mixed with some cheers and some jeers.
Moderator Eric Moro of Wikia.com noted the panel featured the most Twilight talent ever: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Mackenzie Foy (Renesmee) plus Stephenie Meyer, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone (his first Comic-Con), Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz. Director Bill Condon couldn’t be there in person but sent a pre-recorded message – then introduced the first seven minutes of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. With lots of sweeping zooms, exaggerated sound effects, Bella showing off her new strength and nearly choking Edward by accident plus wrestling a mountain lion and cliff climbing with her fingertips, this looks to be as refreshingly over-the-top as Breaking Dawn Part 1, from a franchise that previously been so dour. The footage ended with Bella about to meet her daughter, and included hints of the budding uncomfortable relationship bonding Jacob and Renesmee.
Lautner on Jacob: “He really has a whole weight lifted off of his shoulders” no longer desiring Bella.
Another clip, jokingly set up by Meyer as “It’s from … in the second half of the book.” It’s a brief but funny bit in which the Cullens try to teach Bella how to act like a human (pretending to breath, slouch more, don’t move at super-speed), and Jacob jokes that she’s acting like a cartoon character. Could be read as a sly dig at people who make fun of Stewart’s acting.
Reed: “I’m feeling really sensitive because this is coming to an end…We were kids when we started.”
Rathbone cited the Civil War scenes where he played Jasper as human were his favorite parts of the series.
Asked what villain she’d dress up as for Comic-Con, Stewart quipped that she’d be the evil queen from Snow White. Pattinson picks General Zod.
Lautner and Reed lament a deleted scene being cut where he throws a bowl at her head. He hit the cameraman in the groin once by accident.
A Brazilian fan, filming herself, asked how they liked Brazil. Stewart described how out of place they were as “white weirdos” and praised the passionate dancers: “That is LIFE!” On being a vampire finally: “You want something for so long, and then they give it to you…It’s like waiting for Christmas.”
If Edward from the final movie could give Edward from the first movie some advice, what would it be? Pattinson: “Keep it in your pants! [pause, breath] Don’t succumb to peer pressure and start wearing a wig like everyone else in this world.” Lautner’s favorite scene in the new one is the one where he has to tell Bella he imprinted on her daughter; called it hilarious and added “I was sore after that day.” Mackenzie Foy’s was riding Jacob-wolf: “I lost a tooth!”
Greene and Rathbone both said wearing the contact lenses was the hardest part of the whole series.
Last questioner said he just wanted to have a bro moment with Lautner, who inspired him to lose weight — from 300 to 250 pounds. Asked what training he did, and if he ever wants to cheat. For Lautner, having to eat lots was the challenge, but now rather than heavy lifting, he said he plays lots of football and basketball.
Finally, special guests were introduced Maggie, Grace, Mia Marlowe , Casey Lebow and more, and more…basically every new character to the franchise, till 30 or so people were onstage. Yes, this definitely was the biggest Twilight panel ever – for sure the most I’ve ever seen on a Comic-Con panel.
But before it ended, we were told we might want to stick around. Meyer introduced The Host director Andrew Niccol, who said “It feels like we stopped shooting a week ago.” And the footage looks like something from the director of Gattaca, all right – creepy people in white suits with weird eyes, chrome cars and helicopters, and Saoirse Ronan trying to fight a human voice in her head that’s resisting the alien host. Plus some odd cowboy-looking stuff that feels almost like outtakes from John Carter‘s early scenes. Hard to get much of a sense of what was going on for a non-fan.
(Photos by Getty Images)