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Stephenie Meyer Releases Midnight Sun: Where the Twilight Cast Is Now

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Related: “Twilight” Author Stephenie Meyer Releasing Prequel “Midnight Sun”

Midnight Sun is finally here!

Stephenie Meyer has officially released the companion novel to 2005’s Twilight after years of anticipation from fans around the world. Midnight Sun, which became available for purchase on Tuesday, Aug. 4, is told from the perspective of character Edward Cullen. So this time around, Twihards will get to experience the same events but through his eye instead of Bella Swan.

In 2008, Meyer pressed pause on writing Midnight Sun after her unfinished manuscript was leaked online. The author later released her 12-chapter tease on her website, but didn’t officially continue writing until years later. In May 2020, the 46-year-old novelist delighted fans when she announced the book was complete.

“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,” Meyer said on Good Morning America. “It didn’t seem fair to make you wait anymore.”

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The Twilight Cast: Then and Now

There is more to celebrate, too. This October will mark 15 years since the release of Meyer’s first Twilight novel, which follows the love story of 17-year-old Bella and classmate Edward, who she later learns is a vampire. The popular series went on to be adapted into five Twilight movies, starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Like Edward and Bella, the duo dated off-camera for about three years before calling it quits in 2013.

In honor of Midnight Sun‘s release, let’s take a look back at the cast of Twilight, then and now:

Kristen StewartIn between making five Twilight films, Stewart starred in smaller projects such as Adventureland and The Runaways, in which she played pioneering rocker Joan Jett.
Before the saga concluded with Breaking Dawn Part 2 in 2012, Stewart was another force to be reckoned with in Snow White and the Huntsman, playing an armor-clad version of the Brothers Grimm-and-Disney heroine. A photograph of her sharing a tender moment (and nothing beyond that, she has since said) with her married director Rupert Sanders broke the Robsten-shipping hearts of the world (and preceded Sanders’ divorce), but years after making up and breaking up again with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, she still thinks he’s the greatest.
“We were together for years, that was my first [love],” she told Howard Stern in 2019.
Stewart starred in a slew of juicy independent films, becoming the first American woman to be named best supporting actress at the Cesar Awards, the equivalent of the Oscars in France, for Clouds of Sils Maria, and became a face of Chanel. Most recently she starred in the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot of Charlie’s Angels and the deep-sea sci-fi thriller Underwater and played troubled actress Jean Seberg in the indie drama Seberg.
Stewart also told Stern that she couldn’t “f–king wait” to propose to her girlfriend, screenwriter Dylan Meyer, but didn’t want to spill all the details on the radio.
Robert PattinsonPerhaps even more so than Stewart, Pattinson has worked to distance himself from his star-making turn as the palid, brooding vampire Edward Cullen–though he told E! News he would “always appreciate” what the Twilight franchise did for his career. He was the romantic lead in 2010’s Remember Me and 2011’s Water for Elephants, but since then he’s been sticking primarily to the down-and-dirty depths of the human soul in the likes of Maps to The Stars, The Rover, Good Time and 2019’s The Lighthouse, in which it’s just Pattinson, Willem Dafoe and some really sordid nightmares.
Of course, all of that is out the window now that he’s playing the Caped Crusader himself in The Batman featuring a who’s who of Hollywood and DC Comics villainy. As of now, that’s due in theaters Oct. 1, 2021.
Following his notoriously public split from Stewart, Pattinson has predominantly kept quiet about his dating life. He was engaged for awhile to FKA twigs before they broke up in 2017, and in January 2020 engagement rumors caught up with him and his girlfriend of more than a year, Suki Waterhouse.
“If you let people in, it devalues what love is,” Pattinson explained his approach to dating as far out of the public eye as possible to the Sunday Times in April 2019. “If a stranger on the street asked you about your relationship, you’d think it extremely rude. If you put up a wall it ends up better.”
Taylor LautnerAfter captivating the hearts of Team Jacob, the buff actor went the action hero route in the John Singleton-directed Abduction and showed off his comedic chops in Grown Ups 2 and the Netflix movie The Ridiculous 6, both with Adam Sandler.
On TV he starred in BBC Three’s Cuckoo and the second season of Ryan Murphy‘s horror-comedy Scream Queens–where he met Billie Lourd, who he dated until 2017.
Lautner made it Instagram official with girlfriend Taylor Dome in 2018.
Peter FacinelliThe actor, who played Cullen family patriarch Carlisle, has largely stuck to the small screen since his Twilight days. Facinelli was already working on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie while filming Twilight, which he stayed on through its last season in 2015. Since then he’s been on American Odyssey, Supergirl, S.W.A.T., FBI and the new Magnum P.I., and in 2019 he starred as cult leader Keith Raniere in the ripped-from-the-headlines Lifetime movie Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter.
Facinelli has three daughters with ex-wife Jennie Garth. On Jan. 2, 2020, his rep confirmed he had gotten engaged to Lily Ann Harrison while on vacation in Mexico over the winter holidays.
Elizabeth ReaserThe actress who played vampire family matriarch Esme Cullen blossomed on TV after the big-screen saga ended, showing up in The Good Wife, True Detective, Mad Men, Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders and Manhunt. Her biggest splash since, however, has been starring on the binge-worthy Netflix horror series The Haunting of Hill House, and she joined the dystopia on the third season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
Outside of film and television, Reaser is also an accomplished stage actress and she keeps a tight lid on her private life.
Kellan LutzAfter his turn as the beefy Emmett Cullen, Lutz loaned his voice to the titular hero in 2013’s animated Tarzan, then starred in The Legend of Hercules and was one of the new guard of action heroes in The Expendables 3, both of which came out in 2014. Also that year he reprised his role of Chris MacNess when The Comeback returned to HBO.
His most recent movie role was playing “Captain F–ktastic” in the comedy What Men Want, and now he stars on the FBI spin-off, FBI: Most Wanted, which just premiered in January 2020 on CBS.
In 2017, Lutz tied the knot with model and TV host Brittany Gonzales. Sadly, Gonzales was pregnant with a baby girl when she suffered a miscarriage at six months. In a message on Instagram in February, she wrote, “I’m not ready to talk about what happened, and I’m not sure I ever will. But I can say I am SO grateful for the most amazing husband who’s been by my side the entire time. I have the best most supportive family.”
Ashley GreeneThe actress who played the ever-positive Alice Cullen has appeared in a number of films since the Twilight Saga. Her biggest post-Twilight movie was 2019’s Bombshell, about the sexual harassment scandal that ended the career of Fox News president Roger Ailes. Greene played Fox & Friends Weekend cohost Abby Huntsman.
She also starred in the 2019 Hallmark Channel movie Christmas on My Mind.
In 2018, Greene married her longtime boyfriend Paul Khoury in a private, star-studded ceremony in Northern California.
Nikki ReedTwilight‘s Rosalie Hale continued to act in small films and TV, enjoying recurring roles on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and most recently V-Wars with husband Ian Somerhalder.
She married The Vampire Diaries star in 2015 and they welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Bodhi Soleil Reed Somerhalder, in 2017.
Reed also founded a sustainable jewelry line called BaYou With Love.
Jackson RathboneAfter being in the band 100 Monkeys from 2008 to 2012, the actor who played Jasper Hale continued doing TV and small movies after the Twilight Saga ended, but also focused on making more music, dropping a solo album called American Spirit Blues.
In one of those odd twists of fate that luckily turned out OK, Rathbone was aboard a Jetblue flight in 2014 that had to make an emergency landing after an engine explosion. He tweeted all about it, including how he and his wife since 2013, Sheila Hafsadi, and then-2-year-old son, Monroe, had to exit via the emergency slide.
He makes his home in Austin, Texas, with Sheila and their three children: Monroe, daughter Presley and son Felix, who was just born in December 2019.
A video he posted of himself on April 7, 2020, playing his guitar merited a comment from his Twilight sister Nikki Reed, who wrote, “Omg this made me miss you! Thinking of Portland and the many late nights watching you play 25 interments at once and totally in awe of your multi-tasking skills.”
Cam GigandetRevenge for the villainous tracker vampire James’ demise is what drives the rest of the Twilight series action (that and Bella’s torturous romantic decisions), so it could’ve been difficult for Gigandet to shake the association. But he pressed right on, appearing in a slew of movies, most notably Easy A and Burlesque, and he was in the 2016 remake of The Magnificent Seven.
More recently he starred in the Audience Network crime drama Ice, which ran for two seasons.
Gigandet is also a father of two daughters, Everleigh and Armie, and son Rekker with his fiancee Dominique Geisendorff.
Rachelle LefevreThe vengeful Victoria was played by Lefevre for two of the films before being replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard–which Lefevre maintained came as a shock, but which Summit Entertainment insisted was due to the actress taking a role in an independent film that meant she wouldn’t be on set when they needed her.
“Never did I fathom I would lose the role over a 10-day overlap,” she stated at the time.
Since then, the Canadian actress has done a bunch of TV work, most prominently in the hit CBS series Under the Dome, based on the Stephen King book, which ran from 2013-2015.
Lefevre married chef Chris Crary in 2018 and they have a son together. “I used to joke I’d have to take up marathon running to stay married to him, because when he flirts with me he does it through food,” the apparently well-satiated actress said on Rachael Ray in 2019 when she was promoting the Fox legal drama Proven Innocent, which ran for a season.
Anna KendrickAfter playing Bella’s a-little-bit-jealous pal Jessica Stanley in 2008’s Twilight, Kendrick was nominated for a supporting actress Oscar for 2009’s Up in the Air and ended up top-lining the Pitch Perfect franchise. The Broadway veteran has done seemingly all the genres: movie musicals (The Last Five Years, Into the Woods), comedy (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates), action thriller (The Accountant) and murder mystery (A Simple Favor)–and is fairly ubiquitous in commercials.
Kendrick also published a memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody, in 2016, and has reprised the role of Poppy in the animated sequel Trolls World Tour.
Christian SerratosThe actress who had a small role as Bella’s kind friend Angela went on to more undead antics as Rosita on The Walking Dead, and she’ll have the stage all to herself playing iconic Tejano pop star Selena Quintanilla in the upcoming Selena: The Series on Netflix.
Serratos is mom to a daughter with her longtime boyfriend, New Politics singer David Boyd.

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Netflix is developing a live action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ show

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Netflix announced this morning that it’s partnering with Ubisoft to adapt the game publisher’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise into a live action series.

The franchise jumps around in history, telling the story of a secret society of assassins with “genetic memory” and their centuries-long battle the knights templar. It has sold 155 million games worldwide and was also turned into a nearly incomprehensible 2016 film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which underperformed at the box office.

The companies say that they’re currently looking for a showrunner. Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik of Ubisoft’s film and television division will serve as executive producers. (In addition to working on adaptations of Ubisoft’s intellectual property, the publisher is also involved in the Apple TV+ industry comedy “Mythic Quest.”)

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” said Netflix’s vice president of original series Peter Friedlander in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

It sounds like there could be follow-up shows as well, with the announcement saying that Netflix and Ubisoft will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.”

Netflix recently placed an eight-episode order for “Resident Evil,” another video game franchise that was previously adapted for the big screen. And it also had a big hit with its adaptation of “The Witcher,” which is based on a fantasy book series that was popularized via video games.

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Original Content podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ is gloriously bonkers

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As we tried to recap the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” one thing became clear: The show is pretty nuts.

The story begins by sending Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smolett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip across mid-’50s America in search of Tic’s missing father. You might assume that the search will occupy the entire season, or take even longer than that; instead, the initial storyline is wrapped up quickly.

And while there’s a story running through the whole season, most of the episodes are relatively self-contained, offering their own versions on various horror and science fiction tropes. There’s a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones episode, a time travel episode and more.

The show isn’t perfect — the writing can be clunky, the special effects cheesy and cheap-looking. But at its best, it does an impressive job of mixing increasingly outlandish plots, creepy monsters (with plentiful gore) and a healthy dose of politics.

After all, “Lovecraft Country” (adapted form a book by Matt Ruff) is named after notoriously racist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it focuses almost entirely on Black characters, making the case that old genres can be reinvigorated with diverse casts and a rethinking of political assumptions.

In addition to reviewing the show, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes a discussion of Netflix earnings, the new season of “The Bachelorette” and the end of Quibi.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Netflix discussion
3:18 “The Bachelorette”
6:30 Quibi
14:35 “Lovecraft Country” review
31:32 “Lovecraft Country” spoiler discussion

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The short, strange life of Quibi

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“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”

With that, the founding executives confirmed the rumors and put Quibi to bed, a little more than six months after launching the service.

Starting a business is an impossibly difficult task under nearly any conditions, but even in a world that’s littered with high-profile failures, the streaming service’s swan song was remarkable for both its dramatically brief lifespan and the amount of money the company managed to raise (and spend) during that time.

A month ahead of its commercial launch, Quibi announced that it had raised another $750 million. That second round of funding brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

“We concluded a very successful second raise which will provide Quibi with a strong cash runway,” CFO Ambereen Toubassy told the press at the time. “This round of $750 million gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Quibi’s second funding round brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

From a financial perspective, Quibi had reason to be hopeful. Its fundraising ambitions were matched only by the aggressiveness with which it planned to spend that money. At the beginning of the year, Whitman touted the company’s plans to spend up to $100,000 per minute of programming — $6 million per hour. The executive proudly contrasted the jaw-dropping sum to the estimated $500 to $5,000 an hour spent by YouTube creators.

For Whitman and Katzenberg — best known for their respective reigns at HP and Disney — money was key to success in an already crowded marketplace. $1 billion was a drop in the bucket compared to the $17.3 billion Netflix was expected to spend on original content in 2020, but it was a start.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, who had also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion to launch its own fledgling streaming service, the company was enlisting A-List talent, from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James. If your name carried any sort of clout in Hollywood boardrooms, Quibi would happily cut you a check, seemingly regardless of content specifics.

Quibi’s strategy primarily defined itself by itself by its constraints. In hopes of attracting younger millennial and Gen Z, the company’s content would be not just mobile-first, but mobile-only. There would be no smart TV app, no Chromecast or AirPlay compatibility. Pricing, while low compared to the competition, was similarly off-putting. After a 90-day free trial, $4.99 got you an ad-supported subscription. And boy howdy, were there ads. Ads upon ads. Ads all the way down. Paying another $3 a month would make them go away.

Technological constraints and Terms of Service fine print forbade screen shots — a fundamental understanding of how content goes viral in 2020 (though, to be fair, one shared with other competing streaming services). Amusingly, the inability to share content led to videos like this one of director Sam Raimi’s perplexingly earnest “The Golden Arm.”

It features a built-on laugh track from viewers as Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan lies in a hospital bed after refusing to remove a golden prosthetic. It’s an allegory, surely, but not one intentionally played for laughs. Many of the videos that did ultimately make the rounds on social media were regarded as a curiosity — strange artifacts from a nascent streaming service that made little sense on paper.

Most notable of all, however, were the “quick bites” that gave the service its confusingly pronounced name. Each program would be served in 5-10 minute chunks. The list included films acquired by the service, sliced up into “chapters.” Notably, the service didn’t actually purchase the content outright; instead, rights were set to revert to their creators after seven years. Meanwhile, after two years, content partners were able to “reassemble” the chunks back into a movie for distribution.

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