Once upon a time, there was an on-screen romance that was both heartbreaking and glorious. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart lit the Hollywood world on fire, and their romance was such a memorable part of films like Snow White and the Huntsman and Twilight. Now that they’re both over 35, it’s time to ask–has Hollywood’s most famous love story ended or has it simply moved to a different stage in life? Let’s take a walk down memory lane to see what has changed.
First Snow White And The Huntsman
Let’s start with Snow White and the Huntsman. Directed by Rupert Sanders and based on an 1880s fairytale, this film is one of the most beloved romantic comedies of all time. Set in the 1800s, the romantic comedy follows the budding relationship between Snow White (Kristen Stewart) and Prince Charming (Pattinson), who must battle evil Queen Grimshaw (Helena Bonham Carter) and her cronies in order to prove their love. It’s an elaborate costumes and makeup test, but it’s also a powerful statement about female empowerment. In an age where women weren’t usually given leading roles, Stewart and Pattinson’s on-screen chemistry helped to break new ground. The film premiered to critical acclaim in December 2012 and went on to become one of the highest-grossing romances of all time, bringing in over $600 million worldwide.
While it was a huge career high for both Stewart and Pattinson, it was also the final straw in an already complicated love story. The Twilight series, which began four years later with Breaking Dawn, would be their last major collaboration. And although neither have admitted it publicly, it’s generally believed that the acrimony between them was due to the stresses of professional competition in the decades that followed. In 2019, when asked about working together after Twilight, Stewart said, “We’ve both been through a lot, both personally and professionally. I think that in a way, it’s good that we’re not close anymore.”
Breaking Dawn And Its Aftermath
Four years later, Stewart and Pattinson reunited for the first time in four years to bring Bella’s (Stewart’s) final journey to the big screen. Breaking Dawn, the fifth installment of the Twilight series, was a massive success and went on to become the highest-grossing installment in the franchise to date, earning over $500 million worldwide. Like its predecessors, the film was met with critical acclaim and was seen as a fitting and heartfelt end to the saga that began four years earlier.
However, it would be the last collaboration between these two for a while. Although they would work together on some select projects over the years (the most recent being the upcoming 2022 World Cup comedy, The Nanny), it would be a decade before they worked together again, in 2021. And although both have stayed relatively quiet about the estrangement, it’s generally believed that their professional competition—led by Stewart—was responsible for its creation. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight in 2019, Pattinson said of the rift, “It was quite a stressful time. And as much as I love working with her, as an artist I had to allow myself to grow and move on.”
New Romantic Comedies
With the success of Snow White and the Huntsman, Hollywood turned its attention to creating more romantic comedies. In 2019 alone, we saw a number of major romantic comedy releases, from Alvin And The Chipmunks: Road Trip to Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. The year saw the release of numerous other beloved romantic comedies, such as Summer 2022’s Crazy Rich Kids and the Palmetto-set Love Actually.
These films usually feature younger stars, with more adult-oriented leads in supporting roles. While some studios continue to produce teen-centric films, the romance genre has shifted to feature older stars, portraying characters who are often in the prime of their lives. And although these films are generally comedic in nature, with some exceptions, they tend to be more serious about their messages. This is most notably the case with Nancy Meyers’ 20th Century Women, which explores the independence and confidence of women in the aftermath of the second world war. It’s the story of three women—played by Barbra Streisand, Emma Stone, and Viola Davis—who, having survived the war, battle stereotypes and outdated gender roles as they navigate love and romance in the modern era. In September 2022, Warner Bros. is releasing the highly anticipated sequel, which is expected to break box office records once again.
Robert And Kristen’s Upcoming Films
So, what are the current plans for Stewart and Pattinson’s careers? As of early 2022, Stewart is set to star in three movies for Warner Bros. These are the highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster Wonder Woman, due out in May; the psychological thriller Murder On The Orient Express, co-starring with Johnny Depp and directed by Fréderic Assoumans; and the horror musical romance, The Rhythm Section, which brings together a diverse and talented ensemble including John Travolta, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, and Debra Winger. As for Pattinson, he will star in three movies for WME—the futuristic action adventure, The Long Night, the monster movie, King Kong Comes To London, and the Western comedy, The Wedding—all due out between now and October 2021.
At the same time, Stewart and Pattinson are developing projects together, including a script for an original musical, which will be produced by Anonymous Content (the company behind the documentary, Going Clear) and will center on the power of the female orgasm. Alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Stewart is providing the voice for an animated version of Cinderella, due out in March 2021. And in August 2021, they will star in the World Cup-themed comedy, The Nanny, alongside Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson.
What Has Changed?
It’s been a tough transition for both Stewart and Pattinson, and it seems like they’ve both been searching for the right road to happiness ever since. In the years that followed Twilight, Stewart starred in numerous critically acclaimed films, won an Academy Award for Best Actress, and became one of the most recognizable and beloved faces in contemporary Hollywood. Since then, she has worked with some of the industry’s top directors, producing critically acclaimed films and scoring numerous hit movies.
Pattinson, on the other hand, has worked steadily, co-starring in major motion pictures and TV shows and establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s most recognizable and well-liked leading men. He has also become a father for the first time, welcoming a baby girl into the world in March 2021. Although their individual journeys have been eventful, it seems like their time apart has served as a real test of their commitment to one another. And while they may never admit it, it’s clear that both have grown and changed as people and as artists, finding a greater sense of peace and happiness in their own personal and professional lives now that they are back together again. It’s been a long time coming, but this is certainly a fairy tale worth celebrating.