Will Twilight and New Moon spawn designer vampire knock-offs? It’s not a question of “will,” it’s a matter of “when.” With Twilight mania raging worldwide and the upcoming sequel New Moon not even wrapped up filming yet in Vancouver, new life has been injected into vampire fiction as new novels are cropping up by the week to jump on the Twilight bandwagon. The time that we’re likely to see an explosion of Twilight wannabes is the gap between New Moon and the third Twilight Saga film, Eclipse, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
This is in no way a negative inference on fiction literature at large since it exists to entertain and sweep you into worlds far away in the mind, but the drama of the vampire legend is nothing new or inventive. Keep in mind, even Blade made its way back as a short lived TV series over the past couple of years with shows like True Blood popping up as well. Vampires have always intrigued us bloodthirsty humans. From books to film to television and back to novels, throughout the years new vampire worlds have revamped the concept of the traditional stake-in-the-heart type vampire to incorporate more current themes, opinion, values, social trends, and personal author thoughts in a wide open information age that has had an impact on how stories are conceived. And with each new vampire world comes even more sub-vampire copycats.
What Twilight does well is that it gives fans a fresh and appealing battle of the species – werewolves and vampires (Ouellette and Cullen) – to serve as the richer entry point into the love we can’t have and the deeper, more explicit love we should wait for. It really means that we’re all vampires and werewolves just like Edward and Jacob Black when it comes to love and relationships. In the coming Twilight years, we’re likely to see a lot of tier-two vampires pitted against like a Godzilla movie. If it makes money vampires films could possibly go the way of the wave of Asian horror remakes, It’s always, “Too much of a good thing…”
However, as we’ve seen with the Stephenie Meyer based Twilight Saga and the upcoming Twilight sequel New Moon, the new generation of literary vampire fiction is appealing to many on a global scale. And without that ongoing, centuries old desire to create the perfect vampire, much of the genre wouldn’t exist. But how much of the genre will be affected by the Twilight Saga when it’s all said and done years from now?
Fiction franchises like House of Night, Den of Shadows, and the Vampire Academy have lured legions of loyal fans, especially young adults who relate most to the recipe of fantasy and real and relatable teen issues. As successful as each series has been, now amid the popularity of Twilight, New Moon and its stars Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, you can easily make the argument that these books are simply capitalizing on the previous success of other novels. If it weren’t for one, there wouldn’t be another. It’s a cycle that has existed throughout the centuries of literature, fuelled by money and profit off of something that’s already proven itself lucrative. None of this is new, of course. In the movie world prior to Twilight and New Moon, we went from Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter to Asian Remake, all with a slew of similar stories and concepts that clogged up the theatres until the last dollar was coughed up. Comic book geeks, sorry to say, you’re next.
Why is the Twilight series so popular? After reading both Twilight and New Moon, it is easy to feel the appeal. The conflict of teenage angst coupled with a fantastical character like Edward Cullen who feels like the dark horse of a heroic interpretation, a would-be hero that is handsome but still flawed has enchanted millions of worldwide fans. Since the film adaptations have already proven to be windfall lucrative, Twilight and New Moon stars Robert Pattison, Kristin Stewart and Taylor Lautner have all become household names. In Vancouver, fans have hit the likes of Twitter to location scout, staked out hotels and streets, and even attempted to track down the stars as they sit down to eat in restaurants around town. With three more Twilight Saga films yet to be released, at this point there are no signs that the Twilight train will be slowing down any time soon.
Now that the Twilight Saga has garnered so much worldwide attention in the production stages, a question of the Twilight ripple-effect comes to mind. How many similarly themed novels, movies, and TV shows will we see because of Twilight and New Moon? How many are already being written, in production, or now wrapped or in post-production? There’s one that we know of for certain.
Since Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer already has four Twilight novels behind her, with a fifth hopefully on the way in Midnight Sun, it’s not like Forks (ie: Rome) was built in a day. It takes an incredible amount of patience and diligence to create a rich cast of characters, let alone a world in which fantastical rules are created and romantic perimeters are set. Add the element of relatable and classic dramatic conflict of forbidden love and the mind is free to wander. There’s no doubt that we’ll see Twilight knock-offs but will any be able capture the same type of magic that so many people have already responded to on so many levels? If the other vampire films or books are rushed for the sake of riding the Twilight wave, they’ll stand out like a sore vampire thumb and become overexposed. It’s those rush-job vampire that’ll send the real literary or cinematic vampires into their coffins for another 10 years.
What’s also interesting is that shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer are still living on with huge literary followings despite the fact that the show ended in 2003. Will the world be able to handle 50 more Edward Cullen type characters? Well, sure. But down the not-too-distant road, it’s not like we’re going to have a choice. Is there anything we can do to stop the impending vampire tidal wave? Not a chance. Remember, though, if you own a fake Louis Vuitton handbag, it’s not a Louis Vuitton handbag.