Twilight: Sofia Coppola passed on helming the final film because it was “too weird”

Sofia Coppola discusses film projects she walked away from, including the final Twilight film and a dark version of The Little Mermaid.

Last Updated on October 27, 2023

Sofia Coppola, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Twilight, The Little Mermaid

Sofia Coppola, famously known for directing films like Lost in TranslationOn the Rocks, and soon, the already-controversial biopic Priscilla, is opening up about projects she’s allowed to fall to the wayside. Typically associated with high-brow dramas and clever comedies, Coppola’s name is enough to catch the eye of most cinephiles, but it’s the quality of her work that truly speaks for her talents behind the camera.

Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival in September to a seven-and-a-half-minute standing ovation, celebrating the filmmaker’s emotional portrayal of Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s complex relationship. While discussing the upcoming film with Rolling Stone, Coppola shared stories about projects she passed on for one reason or another, including the final chapter of the Twilight franchise, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, and a version of The Little Mermaid.

“We had one meeting, and it never went anywhere,” Sofia said about possibly getting behind the camera for the final chapter of the Twilight saga. “I thought the whole imprinting-werewolf thing was weird. The baby. Too weird! But part of the earlier ‘Twilight’ could be done in an interesting way. I thought it’d be fun to do a teen-vampire romance, but the last one gets really far out.”

You’re telling me! Have you seen The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2? The vampire versus werewolf battle alone is worth the price of admission. I’ve never cackled so hard at something I was supposed to take semi-seriously, and Michael Sheen’s performance as Aro is the stuff of legend. He chews that scenery like a vampire dining on a virgin’s neck.

“I think it’d be fun to do sci-fi and I think it’d be fun to do, not like gory, but I like gothic horror,” Coppola added. “I don’t have an idea, though.”

Another project Coppola waved goodbye to was a version of The Little Mermaid. In 2014, Coppola developed the would-be project with Universal and Working Title. The film was supposed to return to the original story’s darker roots. Coppola exited the project after disagreements with the studio about budget and a frustrating comment from a studio executive. According to Coppola, the executive said the film should appeal to older men.

“Yes, there was [a breaking point]. I was in a boardroom and some development guy said, ‘What’s gonna get the 35-year-old man in the audience?’ And I just didn’t know what to say,” Coppola said. “I just was not in my element. I feel like I was naive, and then I felt a lot like the character in the story, trying to do something out of my element, and it was a funny parallel of the story for me.”

Damn. I’m glad Coppola backed away from the final Twilight film, but I would have liked to see her take on Hans Christian Anderson’s twisted fairytale. How about you? Let us know if you would have wanted to see either of these defunct projects come to fruition in the comments below.

Source: Rolling Stone

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.