The Twilight saga may be finished as both a book and movie series, but its creator has found a unique way to revive it. Author Stephenie Meyer, who wrote the four Twilight novels, and Lionsgate, the company that produced the movies, have partnered with Facebook to develop five short films set within the vampire-and-werewolf series' universe to be shown exclusively on the social media network next year, and they're seeking five female directors to make them. The talent search, dubbed "The Storytellers: New Voices of the Twilight Saga," will be hosted on Tongal, according to The New York Times.
The winning directors will be chosen by, and get guidance from, a panel that includes Meyer and Twilight actress Kristen Stewart, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke and notable figures in the movie industry not associated with the franchise, including actresses Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer and Julie Bowen and Frozen co-director Jennifer Lee. The organization Women in Film, which seeks to empower, promote and mentor women in the entertainment business, has also backed the "Storytellers" project.
"The female voice is something that has become more and more important to me as I’ve worked in the film industry," Meyer said in a statement.
Although cast members from the movies are not expected to appear in the short films, Lionsgate has said it would spend a "significant" amount on the production of the mini-movies, at least by short-film standards.
"We think Facebook is a great way for us to introduce the world of 'Twilight' to a whole new audience while re-energizing existing fans," Lionsgate’s vice chairman Michael Burns told the Times. "This is the just the beginning — a template, if you will," Mr. Burns added. "You can probably guess what might be coming next." Burns would not expound on that teaser for the paper, offering only, "We love Stephenie Meyer." The author has previously resisted returning to the Twilight series.
The partnership positions Facebook as a possible new frontier for film and TV. The network, whose official Twilight page has 150 million "likes," has 1.3 billion users worldwide. The Times notes that previously Lionsgate created the network's first-ever video ad, to promote Divergent, and that industry execs have been in talks with Facebook about how to cater to the Oculus VR virtual-reality technology it acquired this summer.