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“Twilight” star remains bright even as movie dims

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hardwicke(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

The hit vampire romance movie “Twilight” is seeing box office revenues dwindle now that the wildly successful film has been in theaters since Nov. 21. But that has not quieted any of the buzz surrounding the movie franchise and Stephenie Meyer, the author of the book series behind it.
    
On Wednesday, a publisher announced that “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke will release a book on March 17 giving a behind-the-scenes look at how the film was made.
    
Meanwhile, earlier this week horror fiction’s ruling monarch Stephen King blasted Meyer’s writing prowess in an interview with USA Weekend, a publication of the newspaper USA Today. King compared Meyer to J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books.
    
“The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn,” King told USA Weekend. “She’s not very good.”

King also gave his view on the mass psychology behind Meyer’s success at reaching a readership of teen girls.
    
“People are attracted by the stories, by the pace and in the case of Stephenie Meyer, it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books,” King said. “It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it’s not particularly threatening because they’re not overtly sexual.”
    
A spokeswoman for Meyer was not immediately available.
    
In other “Twilight” news, a spokeswoman for 14-year-old “The Secret Life of Bees” star Dakota Fanning says the actress is in talks to play bloodsucker Jane in the sequel “New Moon.” But so far, Fanning has not been officially named for the part.

UPDATE – “Twilight” sequel already feels the bite of fans

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USA/(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

The blood is not yet dry on “Twilight,” the vampire romance movie based on author Stephenie Meyer’s book, but already fans are dissecting every announcement studio Summit Entertainment has made regarding the upcoming sequel.
    
The follow-up film “New Moon” will come out on Nov. 20, 2009, just a year after the first movie, prompting one commentator on the fan site Twilighters.org to write in full Web lingo, “Kool. We don’t have 2 wait too long.”
    
But it has not been all about breathless anticipation for the young and USA/mostly female fans of “Twilight.” The latest controversy involves the casting of Jacob Black, a shape-shifter who turns into a wolf. In a statement about “New Moon,” Summit Entertainment named Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson as the actors who will reprise their romantic lead roles, but the studio did not name the actor for Black, who in the first movie was played by Taylor Lautner.
    
“Sorry, dude but you don’t beat out Taylor. I swear, if they change Taylor, Summit Entertainment will have a riot of teen girls and their parents on their hands,” one fan wrote on Monday at the fan site HisGodlenEyes.com.

AND HERE’S THE UPDATE: Lautner, 16, told cable channel MTV on Wednesday that he is packing on pounds so his physique can match the description Meyer gave his Jacob Black in “New Moon,” the book the sequel is based on.  ”I have been working out,” Lautner told MTV. “I’ve been working out since the day we finished filming ‘Twilight.’ I just weighed myself today — I’ve put on 19 pounds.” Lautner added that he is guaranteeing the director of “New Moon” he will add 10 more pounds by the time filming starts.
    
The “Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” star Ben Barnes, 27, has been talked about as a possible actor in the sequel for another role, that of a vampire named Aro, and that hasUSA-PREMIERE/NATIVITY STORY also generated buzz.
    
“If they keep casting really hot guys in these movies I will be hyperventilating all through the movie!,” one fan wrote on Monday at fan site Twilighters.org.
    
“Twilight” has already made more than $186 million worldwide since its Nov. 21 opening. That sets a high bar for the sequel, as “American Pie” filmmaker Chris Weitz takes over as director from Catherine Hardwicke. Commenting on the fan site EdwardandBella.net, an Internet user with the screen name Sweet Sofia wrote about the choice of Weitz, “I dunno. A Guy? We will wait and see.”

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