Fifteen years ago, the world was divided and defined by two distinct, clashing categories: Team Edward and Team Jacob.
And just when you thought the Twilight frenzy had finally died down, series author Stephenie Meyer has reignited the flame and dropped another book.
Midnight Sun, which Meyer famously scrapped at the height of the Twilight-mania in 2008, reimagines the events from the first book – but from the perspective of leading heart-throb and century-old vampire, Edward Cullen.
In a statement on her website, Meyer said she wanted to give devoted fans something to look forward to while the coronavirus pandemic continued to keep people indoors.
“I hope this announcement doesn’t seem ill-timed; I really considered delaying the release until the world was back to normal,” she wrote.
“However, 1) who knows when that will be? And 2) you guys have waited long enough. Much longer than long enough, actually.
“Working on a book for more than 13 years is a strange experience. I’m not the same person I was then.
“Completing Midnight Sun has brought back to me those early days of Twilight when I first met many of you. We had a lot of fun, didn’t we?
“I hope going back to the beginning of Bella’s and Edward’s story reminds you of all that fun, too.”
What we know about Midnight Sun
After a string of wildly successful young-adult books, and five accompanying films that pulled in more than $US3.3 billion, the Twilight furore came to a sudden, screeching halt.
Twelve years ago, a partial copy of Midnight Sun was leaked online by an insider, causing Meyer to break the hearts of millions of adoring fans and ditch the project altogether.
“I did not want my readers to experience Midnight Sun before it was completed, edited and published,” Meyer said at the time.
“I think it is important for everybody to understand that what happened was a huge violation of my rights as an author, not to mention me as a human being.
“In any case, I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun, and so it is on hold indefinitely.”
But it seems the extended hiatus has helped Meyer have a change of heart.
The original series put readers in Bella’s shoes, but the latest instalment shines a light on the strange and enigmatic Edward, and explains what exactly he was doing when he wasn’t showing up in Bella’s bedroom unannounced.
— kristen stewart gifs (@kstewartgif) August 4, 2020
Speaking on a podcast called Remember Twilight? Meyer said the latest instalment is likely to weigh down a few book bags.
“I can tell you this book is almost twice as long as Twilight,” Meyer said, which is a feat in itself as the first novel was nearly 500 pages.
And for fans gearing up to return to the cold, gloomy town of Forks, Washington, they might also recall that this isn’t the first time Meyer has reimagined the series.
The 46-year-old wrote a gender-swap alternate version of the first book in 2015, titled Life and Death, where the book’s protagonists Bella and Edward are replaced by Beau Swan and Edythe Cullen.
Unfortunately, Meyer has confirmed that Life and Death is a standalone book, and went on to clarify that she would not follow on from Midnight Sun and rewrite the entire saga from Edward’s perspective.
And so, the lion and the lamb went to Hollywood
With the new book hitting shelves on August 4, many are wondering if Meyer will be calling the whole gang back together for one last, big-screen hurrah.
Director of the film adaptations, Catherine Hardwicke, said it “would be fascinating” to revisit the story again with the same cast and crew – if they’re available.
The story, which follows ordinary Bella Swan and her love for the brooding and mysterious Edward Cullen (a century-old vampire), stole the hearts, minds and bookshelves of teenage girls around the globe.
It also made household names of the actors who brought the tale to life.
Despite enduring extensive media attention and being at the centre of fan fixation – which led to both actors resenting the films that made them famous – both Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart continued on to have fruitful careers following Breaking Dawn: Part 2, the final film in the franchise.
“People treated Rob and Kristen like rock stars,” Hardwicke told Entertainment Tonight.
“Rob is Batman now … and Kristen is in a million beautiful projects,”
“Who knows what would happen.”
As to whether it would be possible to recut the original Twilight film and rerelease it as Midnight Sun, Hardwicke said it would be “difficult”.
“We did stay a lot more in Bella’s head,” she said, and in order for the project to work it would have to be “another film”.