While some producers dream about winning big on one certified box office bonanza, producer Wyck Godfrey has hit the jackpot with two: a little movie called Twilight and its follow-up New Moon. More than $1 billion in box office totals later, Godfrey is back with the third installment of the vampire love saga, Eclipse, which opens on Wednesday. The hoopla will continue through the final book in the Stephenie Meyer series, Breaking Dawn, which has been split into two movies, the first scheduled for November 2011. Godfrey talked to TIME about shirtless werewolves and the real-world effects of vampire-human relationships.
Taylor Lautner’s onscreen shirtlessness has become a national punch line. But instead of cutting down on it in Eclipse, you make a joke about it.
These movies have to take the piss out of themselves, if you will. New Moon was such a serious, depressing movie that people felt we had lost a little humor of the books. That joke happened to be mine. (See TIME’s Summer Entertainment Preview 2010.)
Everyone is talking about whatever is going on between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Is that good for business?
Do you want the honest answer? I haven’t even thought of it that way.
That’s not the honest answer.
It really is. I honestly don’t think of it in terms of business. It doesn’t affect our core business at all. The thing I do think about is, Oh my God, I hope they stay together. Because it could be awkward on set in the next movie if they have a huge falling out. It’s like, Wow, they have to portray this love story through two more movies. God, I hope they stay together; please stay together. That’s what affects my day-to-day.