Update 5/4/20: We now know what Stephenie Meyer was teasing on her website over the last week -- and yes, all that buzz and anticipation was justified. On Monday, Meyer revealed that her long-awaited Twilight companion novel Midnight Sun will finally hit shelves on Tuesday, Aug. 4. The book is currently available for pre-order.
Midnight Sun is a retelling of the story of Twilight from the perspective of Edward Cullen. Meyer initially discontinued writing this version in 2008 after her unfinished manuscript was leaked online. She later placed the partial version on her own website for readers to access, with no indication of when she might complete the story.
Meyer appeared on Good Morning America to reveal Midnight Sun's release date, along with its pomegranate cover. "I am very excited to finally, finally announce the release of Midnight Sun in August," Meyer said. "It's a crazy time right now, and I wasn't sure if it was the right time to put this book out. But some of you have been waiting for just so, so long, it didn't seem fair to make you wait anymore."
She also told GMA, "I hope this book gives my readers a little pleasure to anticipate and, if it arrives, a chance to live in an imaginary world for a while. I can't express how much I appreciate the patience of my readers, and their support over the years it took to finish Midnight Sun."
Midnight Sun joins a growing list of companion novels Meyer has released following her four-part Twilight Saga. In addition to Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn, Meyer has also written the Eclipse novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, The Official Illustrated Guide, and Life and Death. The books were also adapted for three illustrated editions.
Midnight Sun will be released on Tuesday, Aug. 4 and is currently available for pre-order.
Previously 4/29/20: Something big is happening at Stephenie Meyer's website right now. The Twilight Saga author is currently counting down to an announcement, and her reps have been coy about what she's set to reveal to fans in four days and some change.
Judging by the image accompanying the teaser -- a moving shot of the night sky -- our instinct is to say that fans might finally be getting that long-awaited sequel to The Host, since, you know, that's a story centered on an alien species which try to take over Earth by inhabiting human bodies. Another option might be that she's finally completed writing her Twilight companion story Midnight Sun, which revisits the events of the first book from the perspective of Edward Cullen. Meyer famously discontinued working on Midnight Sun after the unfinished manuscript was leaked, and she never committed to when -- or even if -- she would finish the retelling. There's also the possibility that Meyer will finally reveal her manuscript for Forever Dawn, a different take on the Twilight story that she has previously teased.
Part of me wants to believe, though, that she might be hinting at more Twilight adaptations -- specifically, a TV show. And even if that's not what's happening here, I still want to talk about why that should happen because, to quote Alice Cullen, "It's time."
For starters, Twilight is the perfect distraction vessel. Look, it's probably no coincidence that the first Twilight film was a runaway success during another era of uncertainty and economic distress. The Saga was downright recession-proof, and it gave readers and fans of the movies a reason to get excited about something. Forks, a fictionalized version of the real town with mythical creatures that were inhumanly beautiful, cool, and eager to make nice with people, was a destination for the mind and heart, through and through. Whether you were a fan of the story and characters or not, the power of the Twilight series to provide an instant getaway from a bitterer reality was undeniable. Who couldn't use a little of that right now?
A TV adaptation could really flesh out some of the drama. Even with the film series stretched into five installments, there were still some key scenes which didn't make it from the page to the screen, likely for the sake of time and the narrative structural requirements of a film. One that pops to mind immediately is the scene from Twilight when Bella pricks her finger and falls faint from the smell of blood; that early scene contained some subtle clues about what mysteries would be unpacked later in the story, but, unfortunately, it was one of the moments that never got committed to celluloid for one reason or another.
Not to say the films didn't do the story justice; they mostly did, and that's why I, and millions of others, loved them. But given more time, some of those missing scenes, and even those that did make it to screen, could have a lot more room for tension-building nuance. There were several distinct moments when the movies simply had to rush through certain dynamics, and a TV show would have so much more room to play and earn those emotional arcs that may have fallen flat for some.
There are so many stories still to tell from the books. While the Twilight films adapted all four of Meyer's Twilight Saga books, there was still a lot left unexplored by the adaptations. For starters, the entire story of Bree Tanner, as told in Meyer's companion novella, was left out of the equation in Eclipse. And we hardly got to see any of Carlisle Cullen's history as the boy who struggled through the pain of transforming into a vampire all alone and still resisted the urge to feed on people. Even Alice Cullen's terrible history with James is a fascinating screen-worthy story all its own.
Also, a simple glance at the Illustrated Companion, which dropped after the final film, reveals a wealth of new story possibilities that could easily broaden the horizons of the Twilight screen take from Forks to the entire globe. Bring on the Romanians' long-standing war with the Volturi! Show us the full era of vampire toddlers ravaging villages with an adorable smile! Show us more about how Nahuel, the other hybrid, came to be! There are literally dozens of characters with stories still to tell on-screen.
Meyer herself flipped the script to offer new possibilities for the story. Even if a show creator wanted to stick to the basics of Twilight and revisit the story of Bella and Edward, there are new and interesting possibilities for that, too. To celebrate Twilight's 10th anniversary, Meyer released a gender-bent version of the entire Twilight novel, which had an interesting impact on the dynamics of the story for sure. That's not to say a show would have to follow suit, but there's obviously some room for re-imagination of the Cullens & Co. if even Meyer herself was willing to tinker with them.
For now, we'll have to wait and see what Meyer is teasing 'til Monday, May 4 at 8:30 a.m. ET. And maybe squeeze in a quick Twilight movie binge or book re-read session this weekend in the meantime.