'Twilight' film franchise looks ahead

8:00 PM PST 11/13/2008 by Steven Zeitchik, AP

Summit acquires rights to next three novels in the series

With Summit Entertainment preparing to release its big bet "Twilight," the studio is moving potential future installments in the franchise into the development pipeline.

The company has acquired rights to the next three novels in Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster vampire series and has hired "Twilight" scribe Melissa Rosenberg to pen scripts based on "New Moon" and "Eclipse," the second and third books, respectively.

A fourth book, "Breaking Dawn," has not attached a writer.

"Twilight," which revolves around the relationship between an average teenage girl, Bella, and a vampire, Edward, in a rainy Northwest town, has been generating huge buzz ahead of its Nov. 21 bow.

Summit, which has been eager for a franchise as it rolls out its distribution slate, hopes that the movie's built-in teen and early-twentysomething audience will get an added boost from older filmgoers.

In "New Moon," Edward leaves Bella, sending Bella into a depression and a friendship with another werewolf. In the third book, "Eclipse," that relationship triangle evolves, while evil vampires begin to pursue Bella.

"Breaking Dawn" pushes the plot further with a marriage between Bella and Edward.

The UTA- and 3 Arts Entertainment-repped Rosenberg, who also penned "Step Up" and is a writer/co-exec producer on Showtime's "Dexter," has said she was methodical in writing the scripts, choosing not to read future "Twilight" books so she could stay true to the evolution of the characters.
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