March 28, 2013 8:00am PT by Sophie Schillaci
From 'Twilight' to 'The Host': A Stephenie Meyer Timeline
The Host is no Twilight, but the phenomenal success of the latter undoubtedly spurred progress on the former, which hits theaters March 29.
Sure, both center on love stories with a supernatural element, but those involved with author Stephenie Meyer’s latest adaptation (including Meyer herself) scoff at comparisons to the Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson franchise -- and rightfully so.
In a previous interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Meyer acknowledged that there is added pressure on the heels of Twilight’s success, but it’s something that she keeps her distance from.
“For me, they’re so different, and I don’t expect anything to be like Twilight again,” she said. “I would imagine [The Host] will be a much more normal experience, but I’m sure for investors and the like, they would really feel a lot of pressure to have it be just the same. I think this story is very different; I think people respond to it very differently. I don’t think it will be the same phenomenon at all.”
Meyer's novel The Host was published May 6, 2008 -- three years after the first Twilight hit bookshelves but mere months before Pattinson and Stewart stepped into the roles of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan.
So what happened on the road to The Host? THR breaks down the timeline.
June 2, 2003: Meyer, a mom with absolutely no writing experience, says the idea for Twilight comes to her in a dream on this night. Out of 15 manuscripts she sends out, nine are rejected and five go unanswered. She receives only one positive response, from Jodi Reamer at Writers House.
2003: Eight publishers go to bat for the book at the Writers House's 2003 auction, with Little, Brown and Co. winning out.
April 2004: Paramount’s MTV Films options the rights to Twilight on the basis of a strong book proposal but develops a script with very little resemblance to the novel. The project eventually is put into turnaround.
Oct. 5, 2005: Twilight -- Meyer's debut book -- is published by Little, Brown and reaches No. 5 on the New York Times best-seller list within a month of release.
2006: Erik Feig, then-president of production at Summit, woos Meyer into signing away the rights once again.
Sept. 6, 2006: New Moon is published, with many critics observing darker themes than its predecessor.
June 17, 2007: Twilight hits No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list.
Aug. 7, 2007: Eclipse is published and also is dubbed as more thematically mature than its predecessors.
Nov. 16, 2007: Stewart is cast as Bella Swan.
Dec. 11, 2007: Pattinson is cast as Edward Cullen.
April 9, 2008: Even before The Host is released, Meyer says she envisions the book as the first of a trilogy. She says she intends to write a sequel titled The Soul and another titled The Seeker.
May 6, 2008: The Host is published by Little, Brown. It also becomes a No. 1 New York Times best-seller, remaining on the list for 26 weeks, and spends more than 36 weeks on the Los Angeles Times Best Sellers list.
Aug. 2, 2008: Breaking Dawn is published as the most controversial in the series, earning mixed reviews.
Dec. 12, 2008: Twilight hits theaters, opening to $69.6 million in the U.S. and Canada.
Nov. 20, 2009: New Moon is released theatrically and sets multiple records with a $142.8 million opening.
Sept. 22, 2009: Producers Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz acquire the film rights to The Host and announce that Andrew Niccol will direct.
June 30, 2010: Eclipse is released theatrically, becoming the biggest Wednesday opening in history. It earns $64.8 million during the weekend.
Feb. 10, 2011: Susanna White replaces Niccol as director of The Host.
May 2011: White exits, and Niccol is rehired as director.
May 3, 2011: Niccol’s next order of business is casting Saorise Ronan as his lead actress. “There was no plan B to play her,” he tells THR.
Nov. 18, 2011: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is released. It grosses $138.1 million domestically in its opening weekend.
March 2012: The Host goes into production, filming in Louisiana and New Mexico.
Nov. 12, 2012: At the Hollywood premiere for Breaking Dawn, Part 2, the stars of The Host walk the red carpet, mixing and mingling with Stewart, Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, and answer press questions about the mayhem to come for their franchise.
Nov. 13, 2012: The first full-length trailer for The Host is released just days before the final Twilight installment hits theaters.
Nov. 16, 2012: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 opens to $141 million domestically.
Nov. 28, 2012: Meyer is featured on THR’s inaugural 25 Most Powerful Authors list, posing for a photo spread with Host stars Diane Kruger and Jake Abel.
March 17, 2013: In an interview with THR, Host star Max Irons says: “When I first got the script, I thought ‘God, maybe this is Twilight 2.0. Maybe she’s believed her own hype and is trying to do it again.’ I read it, and it wasn’t. I thought, 'This is science fiction, first and foremost; it’s a tale of human survival.' Yes, there’s a romantic element, but it’s an unusual romantic element. The love triangle has been done in Shakespeare, The Graduate, Bridget Jones and, yes, Twilight, but this was actually different."
March 17, 2013: Ronan says she didn’t think about the hype when signing on for the project. “It’s something you could let stress you if you wanted it to, but I am trying to enjoy it as well. I mean, all of the fans of her books, and The Host in particular, made me really excited about the film and they really like us, so it’s a good thing.”
March 29, 2013: The Host is released nationwide via Open Road Films.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci