Breaking Dawn Part 2 ends the Twilight Saga with a bang—and no, we're not talking about the tantric vampire sex. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's final installment in the vampire series comes equipped with one highly teased "twist"—and now that you've attended the midnight screening, it's time to break that scene down.
SPOILER ALERT: We'll take a moment to stress again that you should not continue reading unless you've already seen the movie, as there be spoilers ahoy! And not little spoilers, like humongous, movie-ruining, werewolf-sized spoils.
You have been warned.
So, first things first, what is the twist? Well, in Stephenie Meyer's novel, when the Cullen gang (along with their international gang of witnesses) squares off against Aro (Michael Sheen) and the Volturi, it's much ado about nothing. There's some talking and then some leaving and everything is kosher. Basically, very cinematically boring.
Which is why it needed to change. "I wouldn't call it an alternate ending," Meyer set the record straight at the film's junket earlier this month. "The end was something [screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and I] knew that had to be cracked and we sat there and hashed it out. In a way, I feel like it's kind of offscreen in the novel because we only see what Bella sees. This was just a way of making visual what some of the other characters might have been seeing."
So, in the movie there's blood and guts and tons of vampire heads being ripped off. The first of which belongs to beloved Cullen patriarch Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), a moment that surely elicited an audience-wide gasp. More Cullens die, a head gets ripped in half in close up—yeah! WTF was that?!—and Jane (Dakota Fanning) gets eaten by a wolf.
"It does feel very surprising. I still, watching it, have that moment where I go, 'Oh! Oh! We did that, didn't we?!'" Meyer continued. "So definitely there's something new to see, but to me it doesn't seem like we're going hugely off the page at all."
In the end, it's all in Alice's (Ashley Greene) head: A premonition she's revealing for Aro in order to stop any violence from happening. But before viewers realize that none of it actually happened, boy, will plenty of Twi-hards be wetting their Edward Cullen undies.
"Because Stephenie's writing from Bella's point of view, she can't actually tell the story of what that was like. I got to go and actually do that scene," Rosenberg told us at the BD2 premiere, noting that she "consulted" Meyer a lot with the changes and admitting that fans could cry foul at the twist.
"There has been a polarizing reaction to all of them," she laughed. "People feel very passionately about these books. You can't satisfy all the people all the time. You hope you satisfy the bigger majority of them, but you can go online to any fan site and they'll tell you how horribly I've messed up every adaptation."
Director Bill Condon is more optimistic. "All of us working on finishing the movie, we've been so obsessed about [fans seeing it] because of the twist that we added," he explained. "It's going to be interesting. Because it stays true to the spirit of the book and because Stephenie was involved in these discussions, I feel pretty hopeful that the fans will like it. The fans have been pretty generous with stuff, I think they've grown to understand too that movies are different from books and you have to change things. I'm hopeful that it will be OK."
Well, surely more than just "OK," considering the work it took to bring that bloodbath to the big screen. Bill explained at the junket (noting that it took "one year of solid work" to perfect just that scene), "That sequence was the biggest challenge of either movie. Battle sequences are hard, here's what's harder: Usually in a battle sequences you get horses and big flags and banners and you get weapons. You don't have any of that here.
"You can't puncture their skin, the only way you can kill them is by pulling their heads off. So that became a big thing, how do you do endless variations of that?" He pondered. Well he did. And heads will be rolling—here's hoping that they'll be onscreen though and not at the hands of angry fans.
Breaking Dawn Part 2 is in theaters today.