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Summit Entertainment truly hit the movie lottery when they acquired the rights to the Twilight movies. The five films: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn – Part 1, and Breaking Dawn – Part 2 are based on the four, eponymous, bestselling novels by Stephenie Meyer and thus had an extraordinary built-in fan base. In fact, even Summit managed to underestimate just how popular the first film would become and how many people were invested in the story and characters of Twilight.

The Twilight cast stands on the red carpet at the world premiere
The Twilight cast | Lester Cohen/WireImage

The first Twilight movie alone made an astronomical $393.9 million dollars at the box office, shattering Summit’s expectations for the film by a whopping $364.6 million. Though the production and distribution company expected the film to perform decently, they couldn’t predict how successful the franchise would eventually become. In fact, the studio even threatened to scrap the film altogether at one point.

Stephenie Meyer wasn’t a huge fan of the first ‘Twilight’ script

Funnily enough, Summit Entertainment nearly missed out on the rights to the films altogether. Initially, a completely different studio got the rights to Twilight from Meyer and had an entirely different vision for the film. In fact, the original script for Twilight was so bizarrely different from Meyer’s books that she was hesitant to trust Summit with the rights to her novel when the plans for the original movie ultimately fell through.

According to Meyer, when she originally gave up her rights in order for her story and characters to be told on the big screen, she wasn’t allowed to object to any changes to the storyline. This resulted in the original Twilight script being drastically different from her books. So, when she got the rights back, and Summit practically begged for a shot to turn her story into a film, she needed some assurances before she agreed. Ultimately, it was a list of non-negotiables that helped Meyer change her mind.  

How Summit Entertainment convinced Meyer to let them have the rights for the movies

“Erik Feig (a then executive at Summit Entertainment) called and said, ‘Please we’ll do anything. We really want to make your story,'” the Twilight author recalled in a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter “It’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ve heard that before.’ And he’s like, ‘No, no,’ and he let me come up with a rider where I wrote all these things that couldn’t change. They were like, ‘Yes, we’ll do it,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, OK, well then I guess you really do want to make it as it is. That’s cool.'”


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One character was killed off in the original ‘Twilight’ script

One of Meyer’s non-negotiables was that the films couldn’t kill off any characters that didn’t die in the books. Apparently, in the original script, Charlie got killed at the end and Meyer was not on board. The author also declared that Bella could not become a vampire in the movies until she became a vampire in the books, which was also something that occurred in the original script. We’re sure that Twilight fans are pleased that Meyer took great care to protect her beloved characters. Personally, we think Charlie adds some much-needed levity to the Twilight movies and it would’ve been a shame if he got killed off during the first film.