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The 'Twilight' Movie Series Details

The Basics on the 'Twilight' Films Based on Stephenie Meyer's Books

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Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner can hardly go out in public anymore since being cast in the lead roles in the Twilight films. Pattinson won over millions of mostly female fans playing a teen vampire who falls for the very human, very vulnerable Bella. Stewart, who'd already built up an impressive resume before taking on Twilight, brings Bella to life on the screen. And martial arts enthusiast Taylor Lautner plays Jacob, a childhood friend of Bella's who'd like to take the relationship to the next level.

1. 'Twilight' (2008)

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in Twilight
© Summit Entertainment
Released on November 21, 2008

Twilight primarily focused on two of the three main characters of the series, with just a few short minutes spent with key player number three. Having moved to Washington to live with her dad for a while, Bella (Stewart) finds herself instantly fascinated by the strange and beautiful Cullen family. While everyone else in school gives the Cullens a wide berth, Bella is drawn to the youngest member of the family, Edward (Pattinson). Although no one else realizes what they are, Bella pieces two and two together and quickly figures out the Cullens are vampires. Yet despite that, Bella falls hopelessly in love. And Edward, who hasn't had a girlfriend in a hundred years, finds himself returning the feeling.

2. 'New Moon' (2009)

New Moon
© Summit Entertainment
Release Date: November 20, 2009

Catherine Hardwicke directed the first film, but Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass) takes over for the second film of the franchise. In New Moon the focus shifts from Bella and Edward to Bella and Jacob after Edward and the Cullen family leave town following a hairy incident at Bella's birthday party. Much of the action takes place on the reservation in New Moon, and werewolves enter the storyline in a major way.

Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning and Cameron Bright make their first appearances in the Twilight franchise as members of the Volturi, powerful vampires who keep the peace amongst the undead population.

3. 'Eclipse' (2010)

Eclipse
© Summit Entertainment
Release Date: June 30, 2010

David Slade (30 Days of Night) takes over as director on the third film of the series. Edward's back in town after coming to his senses and realizing he can't deny the fact he and Bella are meant to be together. His return isn't greeted with cheers on the reservation as Jacob hasn't given up on trying to win over Bella. She's determined to keep things on a friendship level, but Jacob's a persistent guy. In addition to struggling to keep both men in her life happy, Bella's dealing with a vampire out for revenge and her impending graduation from high school which signals the approach of a huge change in her life.

4. 'Breaking Dawn Part 1'

Breaking Dawn Part 1
© Summit Entertainment
Release Date: November 18, 2011

Breaking Dawn is by far the most difficult of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books to adapt for the big screen, and Summit opted to split the novel into two films. The fourth book introduces a new, bizarre character that had fans guessing exactly how this new creature would be brought to life on the screen. With sex and an extremely bloody, violent and disturbing sequence, it took a little finessing on the part of screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and director Bill Condon to make Breaking Dawn PG-13 rated. Part 1 wound up with a PG-13 for "disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements."

5. 'Breaking Dawn Part 2'

Breaking Dawn Part 2
© Summit Entertainment
Release Date: November 16, 2012

With Breaking Dawn Part 2 we say good-bye to sparkling vampires (it's not likely any other author is going to use that Stephenie Meyer trick). Although the films have all done well at the box office, the fuss and hype over the franchise has dramatically cooled down since the release back in 2008 of the first Twilight movie.

The final Twilight film finds our vampire heroes fighting off evil vampires and falling deeper in love.
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