Director Sofia Coppola turned down final Twilight movie because concept was ‘too weird’

Director Sofia Coppola has revealed she considered taking on the final Twilight film, Breaking Dawn, but turned down the opportunity because the concept was “too weird”.

The final adaptation of Stephanie Meyers’s four-book saga was split into two parts, with Breaking Dawn – Part 1 released in 2011, followed a year later by Part 2 in 2012 – both were directed by Bill Condon.

Before Condon boarded the project, however, Coppola, 52, said she had met with producers.

“We had one meeting, and it never went anywhere,” the Lost in Translation director recently told Rolling Stone.

“I thought the whole imprinting-werewolf thing was weird. The baby. Too weird! But part of the earlier Twilight could be done in an interesting way. I thought it’d be fun to do a teen vampire romance, but the last one gets really far out.”

Based on the fourth book in Meyers’s series, the film sees Taylor Lautner’s werewolf Jacob imprint on his ex-lover Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) newborn baby, Renesmee.

The concept has been called out for being “creepy” with several fans criticising the idea of Jacob imprinting on a baby – a concept earlier explained in the books as a mark on a soulmate.

Sofia Coppola and Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 1’ (Getty Images / Summit Entertainment)
Sofia Coppola and Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 1’ (Getty Images / Summit Entertainment)

Elsewhere in the Q&A, Coppola said she had also exited a live-action version of The Little Mermaid after a studio executive suggested that the movie should appeal to adult men.

“Yes, there was [a breaking point]. I was in a boardroom and some development guy said, ‘What’s gonna get the 35-year-old man in the audience?’ And I just didn’t know what to say,” the director said.

“I just was not in my element. I feel like I was naive, and then I felt a lot like the character in the story, trying to do something out of my element, and it was a funny parallel of the story for me.”

In a 2017 interview with IndieWire, the filmmaker clarified that the live-action movie was not a Disney version. “It was actually [Hans Christian Anderson’s] original fairytale, which is much darker,” Coppola said.

Coppola’s most recent project is the biopic Priscilla, which is out in US cinemas now. The movie tells of the controversial courtship of Priscilla Presley née Beaulieu and 24-year-old Elvis Presley.

Euphoria breakout Jacob Elordi stars as the late rocker, opposite Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla.

In Geoffrey Macnab’s three-star review for The Independent, he called the film “a downbeat and dour affair”.

“In her own coolly analytical way, Coppola makes some trenchant points about the way Priscilla is controlled by the men in her life. She is living in a gilded cage,” Macnab added.

Priscilla will be released in select UK cinemas from 26 December before opening widely on 1 January.