Torrid honeymoon sex in tropical Brazil.
The most horrifying pregnancy since Rosemary delivered her devil child.
The threat of a vampire massacre on a nuclear scale.
No wonder the film version of Breaking Dawn is coming out in two parts — the first arrives Nov. 18. (The second is due Nov. 16, 2012.)
The wrap-up to the film franchise that began in 2008 and has grossed nearly $1.8 billion worldwide is truly the event-filled mother-of-all Twilight tales, based on the massive fourth volume of Stephenie Meyer's literary phenom.
Even the most rabid Twi-hards have been nervous about how the sometimes graphic 754-page tome would translate on screen as the mixed-marriage spawn of courtly bloodsucker Edward Cullen and beloved human Bella (played by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart) leads to friction with the Volturi, who act as vampire royalty, and the werewolf-prone Quileute tribe.
But never fear, says producer Wyck Godfrey.
Speaking from the Baton Rouge set where both installments of Breaking Dawn are shooting simultaneously, Wyck answered some of the Twi-faithful's more pressing questions.
Q: Where does the story split in half?
A: "We basically want to take the audience through the emotional part of Bella's journey as she becomes a vampire. The first part will cover the wedding, the honeymoon and the birth." The film ends just before she embarks on her supernatural transformation.
Q: The book has three segments, two of which present Bella's point of view and a middle that's devoted to the perspective of her rejected werewolf suitor, Jacob (Taylor Lautner). How is that handled?
A: "The story will break from her and follow Jacob throughout the course of the movie as he struggles with his own dilemma. There is a sense that as Bella and the Cullens (Edward's makeshift vampire clan) deal with her pregnancy, the world is still turning outside with Jacob."
Q: Why was Bill Condon, the Oscar-winning filmmaker best known for his musicals as the screenwriter of 2002's Chicagoand the director of 2006's Dreamgirls, selected as the director of the finale?
A: "These films have the most difficult stuff from a performance standpoint. With his history of directing, I can't think of anyone who would be better at bringing out the best in an actor." Plus, the director, who did the 1995 sequel to Candyman, is a fright-fare enthusiast. "He has an appetite for the genre and a passion for the Twilight books and movies."
Q: Considering what goes on during the torturous birth process, how can the rating be PG-13?
A: With Twilight's core of under-18 fans, "it would be a crime against our audience to go R-rated." However, "this is based on a much more mature book. We need to progress and be more sophisticated."
A compromise: Having the bloody, bone-crushing delivery be seen only through Bella's eyes. "She is looking through the haze, experiencing pain and everything rushing around her. We only see what she sees."
Q: How is the long-awaited consummation of Edward and Bella's love portrayed?
A: Even though their physical relationship goes way beyond what was shown in the first three films, "it does not become soft porn. It is a legitimate and important part of the movie, romantic and sensual."
Q: At the end of Breaking Dawn, about 70 or so vampires from around the world gather to face off with the Cullens and their allies plus Jacob's wolf pack. How can you keep both portions of the storytelling equally compelling?
A: "The second half is more of an action film in terms of life-and-death stakes." But the domestic moments of the first film possess an emotional punch. "There are the pangs of newlywed tension that occur that are relatable even in a fantasy film. Marriage is not quite the experience that they thought it was."
Q: Is there any chance that Condon could sneak in a musical number?
A: There might be traditional dancing at the wedding. But don't expect any of the wolf pack to suddenly howl a tune or do a soft-shoe shuffle.
Although, as Godfrey jokes, "We just had a whole line of actors marching toward the camera. We could have them practice a chorus line with vampires doing kicks."