British director David Slade has two brooding thrillers under his belt with Hard Candy and 30 Days Of Night that never would have suggested his next feature would be the latest entry in the bubblegum teen romance series, Twilight. For Slade, Eclipse was such a gear change from his previous work that he couldn’t resist.
“It’s not very often that someone is going to offer a romantic fantasy to a director who has done a thriller in which a woman takes revenge on a pedophile and another in which literal monsters take nihilism to a social order,” Slade told Metro. “I had to take it because doing different things is how we learn and grow. But yeah, it’s an odd one. I wouldn’t have hired me.”
Though Slade embraced the lovingly cheesy romance that has turned teenage girls and, mysteriously, middle-aged women into giggling Twilight devotees, the director was also the first to follow through on the horror aspects of the series that involves vampires and werewolves in addition to shirtless romantic pining.
“The horror aspects were all there in the script and I just followed through on them with my instincts,” explained Slade. “If anything, the producers actually started saying, ‘Maybe you should take this a bit further,’ but I wasn’t making Hard Candy. I was definitely making Eclipse. It was all about tone and tension. We thought we were better served by that rather than having people ripped in half.”
The filmmaker may have added a dark edge to Eclipse that fans appreciated, but Slade is quick to acknowledge that the overall strength of the film still lies in the source material.
“The thing is that the story is great so there wasn’t really any need to deviate that much from it anyways,” admitted Slade. “In terms of dialing up the tension and improving the aesthetic of the special effects, any director coming in would have done the same.”