A while back, Stephenie Meyer announced a project called The Storytellers: New Voices of the Twilight Saga to promote aspiring female directors in the film industry. Screenplays were submitted from new female writers, each revolving around at least one character from the young adult novels. Although the story could cover anyone from the books, each plot had to precede the first entry of the Twilight movies. With a range of characters to choose from, the most popular proved to be Alice Cullen, the precognitive vampire with a pixie cut played by Ashley Greene in the films. Alice led the way with three accepted pitches. Second place was Aro’s bodyguard Jane, played by Dakota Fanning in the movies, who will get her own short story along with the Egyptian vampire Benjamin (Rami Malek) and the patriarch of the Cullen clan Carlisle (Peter Facinelli).
Before fans get too carried away, none of the actors associated with the roles have signed on to play in the short films. The six screenplays were handpicked and approved by Meyer, Kristin Stewart, Lionsgate, Women in Film, Facebook and Volvo. The directors have yet to be chosen but will ultimately be decided by a panel of judges including Meyer and Stewart along with Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer, Julie Bowen, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke and the writer/director of Frozen, Jennifer Lee. News about the directors should be announced sometime soon.
Now that all the necessary tidbits are out of the way, let’s give a nod to Meyer for crediting female directors in a testosterone-driven business. There aren’t enough women directing movies, and they deserve their rightful chance to do so. Still, is this the direction we want the future of female directors to take, relegated to YA, female-centric adaptations? Let’s not limit the potential of a female film industry to a subgenre of movies.
In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first female director to win an Oscar for her work on The Hurt Locker, but that was a film written by a man, starring men and shown from a predominantly male perspective. Her follow-up, Zero Dark Thirty, moved forward substantially. In that film, a female C.I.A. operative took down Osama bin Laden. How can you get more badass than that?
Perhaps we’re missing something in the whole Twilight theme? Maybe there’s something these directors will find to be said underneath all the love, lust and life of hypersexual teenagers? And if they do, will anyone want to see it?