Twilight Saga–New Moon: Casting the Sequel

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Stephanie Meyer's"The Twilight Saga: New Moon," is being adapted for the screen by Chris Weitz, starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. The film is being released November 20 by Summit Entertainment.

Twilight made international superstars out of its young leads: Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella Swan, the innocent mortal at the tale’s heart, and Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward, Twilight’s seductive and conflicted vampire heartthrob. Now, The Twilight Saga: New Moon positions Taylor Lautner to join them as he reprises his role as Jacob Black, who has literally become an unstoppable force of nature.

Director Chris Weitz came to the project in the unusual situation of knowing who his leading actors would be. “I usually get quite aggressive about casting,” he says. “In this case, I had the good fortune of inheriting this great group of actors that Catherine Hardwicke cast in the first place. The chance to work with them was one of the most exciting parts of the experience.” ?

But not all of the cast members were in place when Weitz sat down in the director’s chair. “There are a few new characters who are on screen for a relatively short time but have incredible impact and punch, and lead into the mythology of the rest of the series,” says Weitz. “I always try to get just the right people no matter what size the role is.”

At the beginning of filming, Weitz did something he’d never done before: He distributed a 20-page pamphlet outlining his ideas for the film and the characters. “I called it an orientation guide,” he explains. “The information I gave them was meant to acquaint them with the settings and the style of the movie, so that they knew as much as possible beforehand. That gave us the freedom to improvise on the day. I never want to lock young actors and creative people into decisions that I’ve made, but I like to give them as much to go on as possible.”