Four years ago, the first of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga novels was published. Four novels and one smash hit movie later, and Twilight has become a global phenomena every bit as huge as Harry Potter. Next week sees the release of the second movie in the Twilight Saga, New Moon. Based on the novel of the same name, also the second in the series, the story this time focuses on werewolves, in the shape of the Quileute tribe.

 At the end of the first film, Edward and Bella Swan returned to Forks, Washington together. As New Moon begins, Edward and his family leave town in an attempt to keep Bella safe. Feeling hurt and confused, Bella takes to an old motorcycle and hits the road. Bella has discovered that she can have visions of her love Edward whenever she get’s an adrenaline rush, so she goes out in search of danger. Actress Kristen Stewart returns as Bella. She has recently been quoted in the press bemoaning the amount of attention her personal life has attracted. Linked with Edward Cullen actor Robert Pattison during filming of the first film, there have been rumours this time around that she has been getting up close and personal with co-star and on screen love interest Taylor Lautner. This rivalry echoes the rivalry of the upcoming storyline of the movie, and serves as great publicity for it’s release.

 Lautner of course returns as old friend Jacob Black. Bella and Jacob strike up a deep friendship, and he swears to protect her. It turns out he is a werewolf, a member of the Quileute tribe. Seeing as there is a great rivalry between werewolves and vampires, Bella finds her loyalties are severely tested. There was some doubt as to whether Lautner would be allowed to return for New Moon. The producers felt that with his diminutive frame, Lautner wouldn’t be able to live up to the increased physical presence required, so were keen to recast the part. The young actor was determined to keep hold of the role, and hit the gym big time. Gaining thirty pounds of muscle, he secured the part. His new look is testament to his determination and hard work.

 Not returning this time around however is director Catherine Hardwicke, due to scheduling difficulties. This time around, Chris Weitz is at the helm. No stranger to movies adapted from books, his previous work has included About a Boy, based on Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name, and the first movie from the His Dark Materials series, The Golden Compass.

 In the source novel, Edward doesn’t play a very big part. Robert Pattison fans can be cheered however, at the news that the writers have added plenty of extra scenes for Edward, mostly in the form of Bella’s visions and dreams. Pattison also struggled with all the attention he received as a result of the last film, so may be happier that he is playing a lesser role in this one. Believing that Bella is dead, a distraught Edward travels to Italy to commit suicide. He hopes he can anger the peace loving Volturi, led by Michael Sheen, by revealing the existence of vampires, leading them to destroy him.

 Whilst the first Twilight movie was shot on a relatively low budget, the expanded locations and more epic nature of the second part has meant a cost increase. With the huge profit made from the last film, and the hype machine in overload this time around, the producers won’t be worried. With just last weeks opening 2012 as meaningful competition, and increased interest from both fans and non-fans alike, New Moon is set to smash the box office benchmark set by the previous film. Whilst those who hadn’t read the books didn’t know anything about the series last year, the huge attention drawn by the cast and the rabid fans will draw in many many more movie goers, to see what the fuss is all about.

With a production budget of just over $35m, the original Twilight made a worldwide gross of $385m. New Moon will probably garner close to $500m. After it’s release, fans can look forward to next year’s Eclipse, expected in July, where Jacob and Edward’s rivalry really hots up, as vampires and werewolves unite against a common enemy. Then the final story in the series, 2011’s Breaking Dawn, will round out the Twilight Saga.

 To get fans excited about the release of New Moon, a wealth of images and clips have been released in the last few months. We have featured many of these here on HUG, and you can find –

Posters 1 2 3 4 5

Images 1 2 3

Clips 1 2 3 4 5

And even listen to the soundtrack here

The Twilight Saga: New Moon is released in cinemas next Friday 20th November in the US and UK

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