Ten-minute 'Twilight': what 'Eclipse' would look like as a film short
What if "Eclipse," first a 600-plus page book and now a movie, were a 10-minute short instead? It would begin in a dark, wet forest near Forks ...
Seattle Times movie critic
Note to readers: After reading Stephenie Meyer's "Eclipse" (on the treadmill, I must confess), it struck me that this book, as is often the case with the third book in a four-book series, is not particularly eventful despite being padded out to more than 600 pages. The feature-length film arrives in theaters this week, but I let myself wonder how it might work as a 10-minute short. Apologies to Meyer, the fans and the filmmakers, particularly if the movie is better than this ...
Scene: Some random, dank forest near the town of Forks, where it rains 364 days a year. Bella, a pale young woman with a mysterious knack for attracting monsters, is embracing Edward, a young male vampire so cool you can see ice chips in his eyebrows. Bella is wearing several layers of sweaters. An abandoned copy of "Wuthering Heights" lies on the ground nearby, as does a section of The Seattle Times with the headline: "5 Unsolved Homicides in Two Weeks: Maybe, Like, a Vampire Thing?"
Bella, amorously: Oh, Edward. You make me feel as if my bones are turning spongy. You ...
Edward: Um, Bella?
Bella: Sorry. I forgot to breathe. Won't you please just bite me?
Edward: No. Not until we're married. And in the fourth book.
Bella pouts. Jacob, a tall, muscular and showily shirtless teen/werewolf, enters. He and Edward glare at each other.
They almost stick tongues out at each other, then think better of it. Edward exits, muttering things to himself in Latin. Bella removes a sweater.
Jacob, to Bella: How can you love an evil vampire? And not me? Look how shirtless I am!
Bella: You're a werewolf. But I love you, too. It's confusing.
Both sit and look confused.
Cut to: Bella's bedroom, decorated with "I [Heart] Vampires" bumper stickers and pictures of rain.
Edward: How can you talk to him? He's dangerous! He has an abnormally high body temperature! My people have long despised his people! Except that none of us are really people!
Bella: I'm Switzerland. I refuse to be affected by territorial disputes between mythical creatures.
Edward, looking mildly nauseated, as is his habit: You smell like a dog. I'm leaving. I have mysterious business elsewhere. He goes. Bella looks pensive and vaguely slack-jawed, as is her habit.
Cut to: Back in the forest.
Bella: Edward doesn't know I'm here. Shouldn't you at least have a jacket on?
Jacob: That's OK. Hey, did I tell you that my werewolf brother Quil imprinted on a baby?
Bella: What does that mean?
Jacob: It means the baby is his soul mate. But he has to wait for her to grow up.
Ominous music flares up. Jacob and Bella look up, startled.
Bella: What was that?
Jacob: Um, never mind. Hey ... was that a really gorgeous redheaded vampire I just saw over there in the trees?
Bella, in terror: It's Victoria! She's found me! She has new highlights!
Cut to: Bella's bedroom
Edward (thoughtfully, holding "Wuthering Heights"): You know, I'm starting to identify with this Heathcliff guy.
Bella: Never mind that. Victoria and her hair are after me! And people keep telling me long stories about scary newborn vampires! And Alice wants to give me a stupid graduation party! My life is, like, a total mess.
Edward: That's what comes from hanging out with dogs. By the way, they're going to fight with us, on our side. Even though we hate them. It's for you.
Bella: Edward, can we pleeeeease do what we can't do in a PG-13 movie?
Edward: No. We've gone over this a thousand times. Will you marry me? Here's a really pretty ring.
Edward. OK, then. See you later.
Cut to: A tent, in a dark, cold, rainy and thoroughly miserable forest. It is crowded.
Bella: Why are all three of us in this tent?
Jacob: It's an erotic plot device. Here, let me warm you up in my sleeping bag.
Edward: I should have brought "Wuthering Heights."
Cut to: sunrise.
Jacob: I have to go fight the hordes of bloodthirsty newborn vampires now.
Bella: Don't go, Jacob. Let's be friends and exchange soulful glances.
They kiss. Jacob leaves.
Edward: I'm not going to make you chose between us. Even though I know I'm hotter, so to speak. Let's go watch the fight.
They watch a rumble, sort of like "West Side Story" but with biting and flying. After some well-choreographed fight scenes, during which Jacob is picturesquely injured, Edward finally bites Victoria, and she dies and vanishes in grand style.
Cut to: a bedroom, where the wounded Jacob lies. Bella gazes at him.
Bella: We're exactly where we were at the beginning of this 600-page book, aren't we?
Jacob: Yes. I love you. But it's confusing. Why can't you choose me?
Bella wanders off, meets up with Edward, who was lurking somewhere nearby. He kisses her, passionately.
Edward: I want you now, Bella.
Bella: Not until we're married.
Cut to: a wedding invitation; a silent, despairing Jacob; a well-coiffed wedding planner busily addressing envelopes. Off screen, a baby cries, wickedly. On screen: "The End ... for now."
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org