Looking back at her involvement in the now-gargantuan Twilight franchise, director Catherine Hardwicke recalls knowing that there was something special in the teen-angst-athon romance between pale Bella Swan and sparkly Edward Cullen—if only she could make the crap screenplay less crappy.
Hardwicke was a Sundance favorite, having won a directing prize for her 2003 debut, Thirteen. She was at a Sundance event and was seated next to the heads of Summit, who were in the early stages of getting Twilight up and running. They gave Hardwicke the script, hoping that she'd sign on to direct, but she had some ... reservations.
"I thought the script was horrible, but then I looked it up on the Internet and I thought, Okay, it's based on a book and people tend to like it. There's gotta be something there. So I read the book and I thought it captured that feeling of being madly in love. And I thought, That's kind of a good challenge, to see if, as a filmmaker, I could make you feel that giddy, crazy."
Hardwicke agreed to direct that first Twilight, but only if Summit would let her completely rewrite the script. Which does make one wonder: Given the "movie" we got, just how horrible was that earlier draft?