The Hollywood Reporter: What do you think it is about your writing that resonates with Hollywood and attracts the attention of filmmakers?
Stephenie Meyer: You know, I have no idea why it resonates with anyone except for myself. I know it makes me happy. I feel like a lot of the appeal for Hollywood now is the crazy fan base who have made this so successful. Obviously Hollywood is always trying to tap into whatever they think is gonna be lucrative, but with the first one, someone just responded to the story they saw potential there, which was cool. We got lucky where with Catherine Hardwicke, she really wanted to make it like the book. There was an original script before we were with Summit that was so completely bizarrely different.
THR: What was different about it?
SM: FBI, boat chases, night vision goggles, Bella with a gun. Yeah, it was crazy. At the time — once you give away your rights you cant object to the changes. It was just kind of like, ahh! And then they didnt make it and they let the rights come back, and it was like, OK, Im taking this home and no ones ever touching it again. Then Erik Feig (former president of worldwide production and acquisitions at Summit, now president of production at Lionsgate) called and said, Please well do anything. We really want to make your story. Its like, Yeah, Ive heard that before. And hes like, No, no, and he let me come up with a rider where I wrote all these things that couldnt change. They were like, Yes, well do it and I was like, Oh, OK, well then I guess you really do want to make it as it is. Thats cool.
THR: Were you at all scared about how The Host would translate to film?
SM: So many people had a hard time with that. The only three people I think who werent ever worried were me, Nick Wechsler, the producer, and Andrew Niccol, the director, because we all are like, No, its obvious, totally obvious. You just need to have the most brilliant actress in the world and you dont have a problem. And we got her, so we were really lucky. Saoirse [Ronan] is amazing. When you have an actress of that caliber, especially when not everybody knows who she is yet, I think shes going to blow people away. And then you give her this concept role, its like a gift. She just loves to be able to do it and watching her — oh my gosh. Theres this one scene that has no music, its a close-up of her face for five minutes and you cannot look away. I mean, tears streaming down my face the first time I saw it. It was unreal.
THR: How involved have you been in the casting process?
SM: That was such a collaborative group. Nick brought me in from the very beginning. He wanted to do the movie and we got together. We kind of talked about how would you do this, and we both felt comfortable with it. Then hes like, What are your favorite science-fiction movies? My number one favorite science-fiction movie is Gattaca. Andrew Niccol was at the top of the list. I also really likedThe Truman Show because its such an odd but cool concept, and Andrew wrote that originally as a thriller and not a comedy. Id really love to see that script — someday, Im gonna get to read that. [Nicks] like, Well, Andrews fantastic and hed worked with him before, and Andrew wanted to do it. Hes never done an adaptation before, so that was really cool
THR: At the same time, is there any added pressure to live up to that Twilight-level success with The Host?
SM: I’m sure there is. Its not something that I have to feel pressure over. For me, theyre so different and I dont expect anything to be like Twilight again. That was such a weird experience and to have everything be so crazy and bizarre, thats just not normal. The fanaticism isnt normal. So I would imagine itll be a much more normal experience, but Im sure for investors and the like, they would really feel a lot of pressure to have it be just the same. I think this story is very different, I think people respond to it very differently. I dont think it will be the same phenomenon at all.
Head over to THR to read the full interview with Stephenie Meyer.
Head HERE to see the trailer for The Host.