Laura Byrne-Cristiano is a co-owner of The Twilight Lexicon, the longest continuously operating Twilight Saga fansite on the web. You can read her Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn column here on Movies.com every other Thursday.
Every time I turn around it seems like some film is being promoted as “The Next Twilight”. Now personally I don’t think anything is “The Next Twilight” anymore than I thought Twilight was “The Next Harry Potter”. I always want to ask those folks, “A wizard coming-of-age tale and a vampire romance are the same how exactly?” On the other hand, giving these well-intentioned people the benefit of the doubt, they are probably talking about the next big breakout hit. In any case this whole “The Next” obsession got me thinking. Who is the next Twilight Saga star to hit that the next level of success? Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner are all now A-list stars. So when it comes to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, who’s got breakout, superstar potential?
The first three movies certainly shot Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson into the stratosphere, and Taylor Lautner joined them once his role increased starting with The Twilight Saga: New Moon. So does The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 have the potential to showcase anyone? Consider the first part of the novel Breaking Dawn. Two characters leap to the forefront as major players: Seth and Leah Clearwater. Seth has that endearing, boy-next-door quality, and Leah is every fan’s favorite, female bad-ass. Assuming page time equals proportionate screen time, Booboo Stewart as Seth and Julia Jones as Leah have the potential to get to that next level.
There is one obstacle that might stand in their way that oddly enough is a film selling point, and that is CGI. Without quality CGI the films just wouldn’t succeed, but it comes at a price. Fans fell in love with the character of Seth Clearwater at the end of the novel Eclipse where he co-defends Bella, along with Edward, from Riley and Victoria. Unfortunately for Booboo Stewart, when it came time to show that scene in the movie, it was all CGI. It’s hard for even the most devoted fan to have an emotional connection with of a giant CGI wolf that doesn’t talk. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet both Booboo Stewart and Julia Jones at several of the Creation Entertainment Official Twilight Conventions. They both have that indefinable spark that captures fan attention. This is especially true with Booboo Stewart. I’ve seen Twilight fans from age twelve to seventy come in as Twilight Saga fans and leave as Team Booboo fans. So if Booboo Stewart and Julia Jones can get some film time as real people rather than CGI wolves, there’s a chance they’ll hit that next level.
On the other hand there are other actors who are Twilight Saga connected from the previous films whose careers are really starting to take off. Rather than just go with what my ideas were, I decided to put out a call on Twitter and ask some of my fellow fans and fan site operators from around the globe what their thoughts were. Overwhelmingly, it came down to three people: Anna Kendrick, Jamie Campbell-Bower, and Kellan Lutz.
In 2009 Anna Kendrick was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in the Up in the Air. She hit a minor bump in the road last summer when Scott Pilgrim vs. the World wasn’t the smash that it was supposed to be. Nevertheless, Kendrick received praise for her portrayal of Stacey Pilgrim, the main character’s long-suffering sister. Heidi from the Official Twilight Facebook page had this to say, “Aside from her natural beauty she owns every scene she's in. From her quick wit and ability to push the script beyond the printed page, to her undeniable chemistry with her co-stars, it is only a matter of time before Kendrick is the most sought after actress.” This year, aside from her Twilight Saga work, Kendrick has a key role in 50/50 alongside a cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Angelica Houston, Seth Rogan, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Amanda Bell from Twilight Examiner had a hard time picking just one person. In the end she was able to narrow it to two actors. Bell felt that, “Jamie Campbell Bower and Xavier Samuel are the two who have real breakout potential thanks to The Twilight Saga. Bower had done Sweeney Todd and other work before, but he's gotten some serious acceleration after doing New Moon (what with scoring a place in Harry Potter, then the lead in Camelot, and, of course, now with his part in The Mortal Instruments). Samuel, meanwhile, has gotten a lot of attention as well. Many fans are excited to see what he'll do next. The fact that these two worked together on Roland Emmerich's Anonymous is just icing on the cake. I look to see good things from both...”
Amanda isn’t the only person to tout Jamie Campbell-Bower’s qualities. Grace Melo, the owner of Foforks, the largest, Brazilian Twilight fan site echoed Bell’s thoughts citing the same movies and then added, “If all those things were not impressive enough he's the lead singer for his band The Darling Buds. There's a lot of amazing stuff going for him right now, professionally and also personally since he's engaged to Bonnie Wright. He's pretty young and very funny and sweet to his fans. So, we would give him the title for the next Twilight Breakout Star without a doubt.”
Rounding out our stars is Kellan Lutz who seems to be doing at least three things at once. Putting it eloquently on Twitter was @Melissad0312 who said, “…he is great in movies, a talented model, and an amazingly generous human being.” This year alone, in addition to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, Lutz is running the gamut ranging from romantic comedy with Mandy Moore in Love and Marriage to blockbuster action hero in The Immortals.
Outside of his film career, Lutz is involved with several charities such as The St. Bernard Project in New Orleans where he doesn’t just attend black-tie dinners, but he actually donates his time to rebuild houses. To top it all off, apparently Lutz isn’t content to be just a Calvin Klein model. Last week it was announced that he is co-designing a clothing line with Danny Guez under a new label called Abbott + Main.
So there you have it, a snapshot of Breaking Dawn Breakout potential. Do you agree with our choices? If we got it wrong, who would you pick and why? 147 Days left to see who makes it big by the time The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 hits the big screen.