Fifteen years after the release of Twilight, director Catherine Hardwicke has shared her lasting memory of the film that changed Hollywood forever – and why she never returned for the sequels.
Starring then-unknowns Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, 2008's Twilight was an adaptation of Septehenie Meyer's 2003 novel of the same name that told the story of a vampire who fell in love with a teenage girl. Produced with a small budget and an independent spirit, it became a global phenomenon grossing over $3.4 billion worldwide after five films.
But Catherine has now told HELLO! how she has no regrets about never returning to direct New Moon, Eclipse or Breaking Dawn Part One and Two.
"I had it in my contract to do the second one," she told HELLO! at the Women In Film Honors on Thursday November 30 in Los Angeles.
"If my first one had made 1.5 times what it cost then they were obligated to have offered it to me, and of course, it made way more than that. But I loved the first book the most because it was just original, and the other ones weren't as fresh to me and I only wanted to do the next one if we had time to make it even better than the first.
"But they wanted to just start shooting – 'We're doing it tomorrow and this is the script,' – and I'm like, 'Dude, I want to dream about it if I am going to do it,' so I don't really regret it because I love mine the most."
The first film shot in early 2008 mostly in Oregon, although it was set in the far Pacific NorthWest region of Washington, and Catherine revealed that getting to shoot on location in the woods is her lasting and favorite memory of that time.
"I loved the project because I liked that Stephenie Meyer had put it in the woods and I wanted to really showcase the natural environment and get people excited about going out in the trees in the woods," she said, "so my lasting memory will be actually shooting in the woods. I loved being in those trees and then trying to figure out how to do a really cool, crane shot, sweeping through the trees and giving you that dizzying feeling of being in love.
"We could be more intimate with the camera, and I wanted you to feel like you're breathing with the characters, and because it could be more personal, that's, I think, why some people respond to it [more than the others] because the personal touch is there."
Catherine was known at the time for gritty dramas including Thirteen, which also starred Twilight actor Nikki Reed, and Lords of Dogtown with the late Heath Ledger, and she told HELLO! that being ahead of the curve when it came to telling female-led stories means she has a vault full of scripts that she is keen to see come to life now.
"Some of the projects that didn't get made back then, I bet people would want to make them now. Some of them were maybe a little ahead of the curve – I have a cool project about female eco activists, so we need those projects now," she added.
"One of them is about Diane Warren, and the actual crazy story of her childhood from being bullied and told she had no musical talent, to running away from home and then just against all the odds becoming this crazy 14-time Oscar nominated star. I think her story is really inspiring and we've got a really cool script and we can't wait to do it."