Top 10 Changes from Book to Movie that Worked!

It’s the start of a new year and we’re making lists just like everyone else is doing!  Our last list caused quite a commotion by leaving off several romantic lovemaking scenes.  We’re wondering if this list will cause a similar stir! 

We have taken into consideration all five films in the saga for these lists.  We are also trying to include all five films on the lists!  So keep that in mind that not EVERYTHING great can come from Breaking Dawn Part 2!  And as much as we love the romantic scenes, we love other things about the films, too!

Whenever a book is made into a film, there are always great moments from the book left out of the film.  Likewise, there are also other moments added into the films that we wish had been in the book.  This is that list – those changes that were made to the films that worked!  As usual, this is just an opinion gathered from talking to a few friends and fans of the saga.  Let us know what you think of our list by leaving a comment below!

And I will warn that if you haven’t seen Breaking Dawn Part 2, there is a spoiler on this list! 

#10: Combining Jessica and Lauren into one character – Maybe it’s just the perfection of Anna Kendrick, but she nailed both Jessica and Lauren’s personality so that we don’t really miss having them BOTH.   We get the snark and the snobbery of them both all wrapped up in a perfectly delivered minor performance proving that there are no such things as small parts, only small actors.

 

#9:  Having Bella see Ghost!Edward in New Moon – One of the many challenges facing bringing New Moon to the screen was that the main heart throb from the first film would barely be in it.  So… how do you film a book where the main love interest is missing for more than half?  You bring in his “ghost” as frequently as you can. 

#8: Showing Edward’s past in BD1 – Fans always want more back story, and even though we know this was how Edward lived for a while, we never really get to “see” it in the books.  This was excellent for character development and to give audiences who might not be as well versed in the books to know Edward’s reasons behind not wanting to turn Bella.  It’s also a fun tip of the hat to other monster movies! 

#7: Riley and the Newborns getting more screen time – I think everyone felt creeped out when they watched Riley hovering over Charlie while he slept on the couch!  Even more creepy was the image of the newborns coming out of the water.  Showing the crazed newborns, conversations with Victoria, and the lead in of the Volturi added to the mounting fear for a final battle.

#6:  The fight between Edward and Felix in New Moon – Yes, this was a great action scene.  Yes, this helps us understand that Edward isn’t the strongest vampire and he can be hurt which adds to the fear and worry of the situation.  But this scene gives us a little more than that even.  It added to the mythology of the vampires and gave us new information about how their skin can crack and then heal. 

#5: The Wedding Toasts – We’re not sure if it was solely Melissa Rosenberg who thought this up or if Bill Condon asked for it or what.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s HILARIOUS to the nth degree!  We’re not sure which was the best one: the double entendre from Emmett, the jealousy of Jessica, or the threats from Charlie!  And speaking of Charlie…

#4:  Charlie’s sarcasm and humor – Charlie was an important character in the books, sure.  Important because he was Bella’s dad and she didn’t want him hurt.  But Movie!Charlie is a whole story!  Again, we’re not sure if it was the writing or Billy Burke’s performance that made Charlie such a fan favorite.  Either way, every moment with Charlie on screen is a delight.  He nearly steals every scene he is in. 

#3:  Ending New Moon with the proposal – When we first saw New Moon and the moment when Edward should propose came and went without the proposal, we were worried.  He had to propose!  Eclipse doesn’t work without the back and forth about getting married.  But it worked so much better as a cliff hanger by putting it at the very end of the film!  It makes fans want that next movie so much more!

#2:  Jacob’s first werewolf transformation in front of Bella – Again, this is similar to the actual moment in the book, but the tension is pulled so much tighter by skipping the conversation between Bella and Jacob pre-transformation that the book gives us.  It’s probably the most imitated and referenced shots in the entire saga.  In fact, if you were around when the trailer came out, Summit was so certain fans would go crazy over this moment that they asked us to record our reaction to seeing it in the trailer.  And thus, reaction videos were born! 

#1:  The Breaking Dawn Part 2 Battle – We are aware that there are fans who didn’t like this.  But we believe that the majority of fans were shocked, stunned, and totally thrilled by the ending battle.  We don’t believe there was anything more shocking to ever see in the whole saga than Carlisle’s head in Aro’s hand.  Nor do we believe the gasps of relief or applause were ever so thunderous when it was revealed to be a vision of what would happen rather than what did happen.   

Comments

  1. Great post and great points.

    Except for #5, which I just found excruciating in its second-hand embarrassment, they were all really good decisions — especially #9. Brilliant and beautifully handled. I only hope The Host handles Mel as well.

  2. I’m sorry, but I just can’t agree with the BD2 battle. Yes, the whole head-of-Carlisle thing was a shocker. But in my theatre it wasn’t so much applause and gasps of relief as it was booing and jeering.

  3. Yep, I think I agree with all those changes. I liked the battle, even though it was a little out of canon. And there were only gasps of relief and ironic chuckles both times I saw it.

    If you ever do a list of changes that didn’t work, I think I’ll know which one will be number one.

  4. My fav is number 4

  5. MaraBenefici says:

    My husband and I were shocked so many people were believing the faux vision. Cause that’s what it was. Alice can not see the wolves. At. All. As proven in NM. There should have been a mention of this some time later that she thought about it so much it became an almost reality, enough to trick Aro. Shame on you if you call yourself a true fan and were still tricked by this.

    Also, Felix should never have been able to lay a hand on Edward. I severely dislike just how many times someone gets the drop on him.

    • No need to call people bad fans. Sometimes when you’re completely caught up in the moment you forget about details like Alice not seeing the wolves.

      • Ren Masen says:

        Mara, you’re absolutely correct. Any true fan would pick that up immediately. Also, she never called anyone a “bad fan”. She said shame on anyone in the know for being tricked.

    • I have two points of contention on this.

      Firstly, I totally agree with Mel. I took a tour of Forks, have read the books more times than I can count, have all the movies and am quite thoroughly OCD (Obsessive Cullen Disorder). Just because I got caught up in the power of the moment when I saw the movie the first time, all of a sudden I’m not a true fan? It didn’t occur to me until several hours later that Alice shouldn’t have been able to have the vision – several hours later when I came down from the emotional high of opening night. I guess no one in my theatre is a true fan, because the reactions of shock and relief were pretty much universal.

      Secondly, Stephenie Meyer herself said that it wasn’t a vision Alice had; it was how Aro saw the battle playing out. You can see the details of her statement here: http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/ under the posting on November 26th. I’m not saying I think it worked according to that logic, but that was what the author intended the scene to be.

      In regards to incorrect visions, Alice shouldn’t have been able to show Edward the happily ever after with Renesmee and Jacob on the reservation because she can’t properly see either of them. There is also the counter argument (if you really want to stretch to find a way to make it work) that Alice’s gift developed so she could see the wolves. After all, Bella developed her gift from no awareness of it to a powerful weapon within a few months.

      • Ren Masen says:

        Again, she said “shame on true fans for being tricked”. Not “you’re not a true fan if you were tricked”. I wasn’t tricked either. And I also know that the end vision isn’t possible. But, to those who don’t read the book and don’t read every single article ever written…….

        • Ren Masen says:

          (Last comment continued) this shouldn’t have to be explained. It shouldn’t have happened without the hand holding some(most non OCD fans) need in order to understand the mythology and not completely contradict it for the.sake of Hollywooding.
          Also, I wasn’t the only one in my theater to be annoyed with the lack of accuracy to it’s own mythology. But the majority of women crying and screaming out in terror was ridiculous.

      • MaraBenefici says:

        Oh Geez! You guys are blowing up my email. You want to know when I realized it was all fake??? Before I saw the movie. I knew the fight was happening because of the commercials. Also, I have read almost every piece of information out there, buy the most important thing I remember: The end of the book: “And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever.” How! Just how could Stephanie Meyer or anyone else believe killing Carlisle, Jasper, Edward, Renesmee ect. Would result in anyone being happy? Also, how could the rest of the scenes of the book happen??? “Oh, I was still pissed about Midnight Sun being stolen so I really wanted revenge on my devoted fans by killing off the Cullen family.”…… yeah…. I don’t think so. One can argue mythology all day, and yes I have read SM’s explanation. I have also heard Rob, Kristen and several others of the cast promise a happily ever after and that it does stay true to the books. How could I fall for it???

  6. Jazz Girl says:

    The only one I cannot agree with is # 6 but it is more on principle. The fight in Volterra, it made sense that Edward was weak and somewhat bested by Felix. However, on the whole, it fed into the greater misconception that Edward could be bested in the fight. They never were able to properly show Edward’s fighting prowess in The Saga, a step taken by MR on purpose, another way to “humanize” Edward and always to his detriment. I absolutely ABHOR the fact that she always felt she had to weaken Edward, make him less than he was. His fighting abilities were just one more way they did that.

    • I also disagree with #6 on principle, but for entirely different reasons. We’re supposed to believe that 1) Felix couldn’t have taken Edward (yes, he definitely could have) and 2) Alice just stands there while Edward gets his butt kicked, knowing that she has the solution to the problem? Puhlease. But my biggest gripe with the end of movie NM is the tete a tete that Bella and Edward have right after he nearly steps into the sunlight. Um, aren’t Felix and Demetri right there? Would they really have let him expose himself for so long, long enough for that conversation to have occurred?

    • I think it accurate that Felix over-powered Edward. In spite of Edward’s mind-reading abilities, he was still out-matched strengthwise and Felix would win out in the end of a fight. However, I thought Chris Weitz actually did a good job of showing that Edward would not go easily and that his fighting prowess would give Felix trouble (where he would otherwise easily take out any average vampire.) In the slow-motion shots of the sequence it shows the struggle more clearly, with Edward working to counter Felix’s strength. All in all, I enjoyed this addition and how it portrayed both Edward and the scene in Volterra.

      What troubled me more, in regards to Edward’s strengths (mental and physical), were some depictions in Eclipse. First, Carlisle took him down during fight-training, which never would have happened. Edward was only evenly matched with Jasper. Even with his more lengthy experience, it wouldn’t make sense for Carlisle to take him by “surprise.” Second, it was unrealistic the Edward and Jacob so often had physical confrontations without any repercussions. Stephanie pointed this out in the commentary. If Edward really grabbed Jake, the mythologically- accurate portrayal would show his arm being ripped off.

      If any movie showed Edward as weaker than the book described, it was not New Moon, it was those moments in Eclipse. Perhaps it was to enhance the rivalry between Edward and Jacob. Whatever the reason, they didn’t fit in with what fans knew to be true…or with what the movies themselves showed of his skill when fighting James, Victoria and, yes, even Felix.

    • Well said! I completely agree with what you said. I felt like that there were a lot of times in the movie where Melissa Rosenberg favored Jacob more and it could be seen.

  7. My favorite is #4 I think it made everything that he was in better, and it doesn’t really change anything important. One thing I reliezed is that Lauren and Jessica were combined, I though Lauren was this girl with sort of curly hair, and blonde that comes out sometimes during twilight, I guess not. And I love Jessica. And I am still trying to figure out how Alice saw renesmee and the wolves… :)

    • I read a really good explanation about Alice’s vision based on something Alice says in BD. she talks about being able to see vampires most clearly because she is one and humans clearly because she was one but she had trouble seeing Nessie because she was not used to a hybrid and she could not see the wolves because they were something completely different than her, but the longer she is around Nessie and Jake and more she gets used to them the more she is able to see their future. Just like the other powers can be grown, such as Bella expanding her shield to others,why couldn’t Alice’s abilities grow to see others?

  8. I agree with this list A LOT more.

  9. I like the part in the first movie when Bella was dreaming of Edward and then she wakes up and sees him in her room.

  10. This is a great list. I would add Edward taking Bella from his room into the trees in Twilight. Also, Bella’s dream after researching ‘Cold Ones’ that features Nosferatu and Edward as a Victorian vampire. And the bloody wedding cake nightmare in Breaking Dawn Part 1.

    Totally agree about Riley and how The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner was partly incorporated into Eclipse. The newborn horde emerging from the water is a great scene. The Twilight Saga doesn’t get enough credit for the vivid imagery of its horror/supernatural moments.

    Speaking of Carlisle, I recently just watched the series Six Feet Under for the first time and at first didn’t recognize Peter Facinelli in a small supporting role. And Kellan Lutz has a very brief appearance in one episode.

  11. Lee Ann Rife says:

    Okay normally I don’t make comments on these websites, but find them facinating in that everyone is as addicted to this series as I am. I have read the books (LOVED EM) and watched all the movies and all I can say…..is I WANT MORE!!!!! I don’t want it to end. I cannot wait for all of the movies to be on DVD so that I can own them and watch them over and over again. Loved all these moments above and so very many more in the books and movies….keep this kind of stuff coming! Also please please please bring more of any of the movies or books. Would love to have Stephanie Meyers finish “Midnight Sun” so that I can see this whole thrilling story through Edwards eyes. Just can’t get enough of this!

    • Ren Masen says:

      Read some Fanfic. It’s gotten me this far without going insane from my book hangover.

      • All of my fave fanfic writers have stopped writing in the middle of their stories!

        • Ren Masen says:

          Do you belong to Twilighted? There’s always a complete story to read. I’m currently reading Falling Empire of a Heart. It only just completed. I try not to read WIP’s. With the exception of Savage and few others.

        • Ren Masen says:

          Do you belong to Twilight ed? There’s always a complete story to read. I’m currently reading Falling Empire of a Heart. It only just completed. I try not to read WIP’s. With the exception of Savage and few others.

        • Ren Masen says:

          Do you belong to Twilight ed? There’s always a complete story to read. I’m currently reading Falling Empire of a Heart. It only just completed. I try not to read . With the exception of Savage and few others.

        • Ren Masen says:

          Read some completed works… like Falling empire of a heart.

  12. Great List!

    I agree that Bella waking up with Edward in her room (twilight) was great. I’d add the beach scene in BD1 where Jacob and Leah talked about imprinting, the treaty scene in Twilight with Vamps in 1930′s clothes,and, of course, Edward crushing the phone in New Moon. That should be on this list.

  13. Ren Masen says:

    Edward is faster than most vampires. He can read the minds of all his opponents. No one can get the drop on him. Felix is supposedly very similar in his fighting abilities to Emmett. Edward always bests Emmett due to his quickness and his mind reading. Carlisle would never be able to surprise Edward. Jasper is the only one known to equal him to the point of a stalemate. It just gave more fodder to the haters. “Edward is such a glitter pansy.”

    • Jessy Rhian says:

      Not so much “Edward is such a glitter pansy”, but perhaps he knew that by fighting back he would anger Aro and the rest, and make it so much harder to persuade Aro let them leave?? And Alice ‘saw’ that Edward appearing submissive worked in their favour so stood back and let it happen? What were they going to do, take down some of Aro’s prized ‘possessions’ right in front of him, in his home, and then get to walk away? Nope.

      However, I dislike the whole idea of death by sparklecide. And I dislike Edward. But he’s not a glitter pansy, he’s smarter than that ;)

      • Ren Masen says:

        Um…. I said that’s what those who dislike the series say about him. It gave them more fodder…. more ammunition.

        • Jessy Rhian says:

          Sorry – I was saying that from my point of view (as someone who dislikes Edward quite a lot) the fight can be seen as a lot more than just “glitter pansy” type stuff, not that you were calling him a “glitter pansy” yourself. I don’t think it gives more ammo to haters – like I explained, he couldn’t have won the fight without Aro having a hissy fit and shredding Bella, so it was tactical ‘taking a beating’, and really when you think about it he won anyway – he got to leave with Alice and Bella (still human), which is what he wanted.

          Haters will find something in anything to mock and ridicule.

  14. I agree with this list so much!! I think these changes made the movies so much better! :)

  15. Para mi si me encanto la batalla final y se sufrió, fue emocionante y también alivio cuando fue una visión de Alice. En fin toda la saga me encanta y no me canso de verla ojala hubiesen incluido too lo del libro.

  16. I love all your choices, but how could you leave out the change in New Moon where Victoria caused Harry Clearwater’s death in the movie? That was by far the most brilliant and far-reaching change from book to movie in the whole saga — because by extension it means that Victoria actually caused the whole “he’s at the funeral” misunderstanding that almost cost both Edward and Bella their lives. In the book it was just a coincidence that Harry happened to die at that same time. Not to mention that having Victoria in the woods around the wolves in the movie at that particular moment explains several other book coincidences: that she happened to be in the water when Bella chose to cliff-dive, and that Jacob happened to be there to rescue her. Definitely the best change in the whole saga!

  17. Great list, but you have GOT to add the most significant change from book to screen of all — Victoria’s causing of Harry Clearwater’s death in New Moon. This was the most brilliant and far-reaching change, because it meant that it was VICTORIA who responsible for the entire “he’s at the funeral” misunderstanding that almost cost both Edward and Bella their lives. This is HUGE because in the book it was just a coincidence that Harry happened to die and lead to Edward misunderstanding Jacob on the phone and heading off to the Volturi to kill himself. SO much better that it was Victoria’s fault. PLUS, having Victoria there in the woods with the wolves also explains why she happened to be in the water when Bella went cliff diving AND why Jacob happened to be there to pull her out. These are all just coincidences in the book but in the New Moon movie they are all interconnected. PERFECT!

  18. I totally agree with how awesome Billy Burke was as Charlie!!! Love Charlie so much!! Although I liked him in the books too, but Billy really brought him to life and he totally stole all his scenes.

  19. MaleTwilightFan says:

    I was amazed at the final battle and to see how much work and detail all of the actors and the whole crew put into it. What I liked the most vs the book is the way Kristen portrayed Bella in the movies. In Twilight Bella gives Angela the confidence to ask Eric to the dance which I don’t think you see in the characterization of Bella from the book. Kristen’s Bella was more of a tomboy. She didn’t completely fit in with Mike and the group and she had a fairly good relationship with Charlie but looked like there was always some distance espically in the first movie so it made Edward a easy choice to be with.

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