In recent years, movie studios have attempted to capitalize on the popularity of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games series by adapting a number of properties based on young adult book series, particularly those set in sci-fi dystopian futures. However, before The Hunger Games, Lionsgate subsidiary Summer Entertainment had a massive YA-based blockbuster franchise in The Twilight Saga. Based on the quartet of books written by Stephenie Meyer, the series was adapted into five movies – following the path of Harry Potter and splitting the last novel into two films.
However, since The Hunger Games live-action series wrapped up, YA-based movie franchises have struggled; most notably, the third movie in Lionsgate’s Divergent series, Allegiant, opened in theaters earlier this year to largely negative reviews and an incredibly underwhelming box office take. As a result, Lionsgate is reportedly shopping around the fourth film in the series to television networks and transitioning the big-screen property to the small screen. But, it seems the studio is still willing to continue one of their more lucrative young adult franchises in recent history.
In an interview with ScreenDaily about the successes of the studio, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairman Patrick Wachsberger touched upon The Twilight Saga, which raked in more than $3 billion at the box office between all five films. Wachsberger indicated the studio was open to producing more movies within the series, though it depends upon Meyer wanting to revisit the story of Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). Wachsberger said of more installments in the franchise:
“It’s a possibility. Not a certainty but it’s a possibility. It’s about Stephenie [Meyer]. If she wants to tell a story related to those characters we’re here for her.”
Both the book and film series were immensely popular from the time Twilight hit shelves in 2005 until the final movie, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2, debuted in theaters in 2012. Following the love story of average teenager Bella with the 104-year-old vampire Edward, the series included a love triangle with a werewolf named Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). The Twilight Saga’s influence on Hollywood can be felt in not only the influx of vampire-related properties to hit screens in the years after, but also the release and adaptation of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey – which notoriously started out as Twilight fanfiction.
Given the success of the book and film series, it’s understandable that Lionsgate may wish to revisit The Twilight Saga, especially considering that both Allegiant and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 earned less than expected at the box office. Although it’s been four years since the final Twilight movie debuted in theaters, it’s likely fans of the series would return for another installment following Edward, Bella, and Jacob – or perhaps a separate story set within the Twilight universe.
That said, as Wachsberger indicated, the decision largely rests on the shoulders of Meyer, who has given no indication she plans to continue the vampire story she began writing more than a decade ago. There have been additional book releases in the Twilight series, Midnight Sun and Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined, with the former telling the story of the first book from Edward’s perspective and the latter a reimagining of the original novel with the characters’ genders being flipped. So, it remains to be seen if another Twilight movie does in fact hit theaters, but it likely won’t happen for some time – if at all.
We’ll keep you updated on The Twilight Saga as more information becomes available.