If you’re a fan of The Lighthouse, you’ll no doubt be excited to learn about its upcoming sequel. But this news might also make you a bit anxious. After all, the first movie was loosely based on the life of Robert Pattinson, and while there’s no denying he had a pretty wild ride, would the sequel live up to the hype?
Same Shit, Different Verse
To be fair, the answer to that question is arguably ‘no’, as there are many aspects of the story that won’t carry over. The first film focused on the doomed affair between Robert Pattinson’s character and Florence (played by Bella Hadid), who eventually becomes his wife. But while there was initially a happy ending (albeit an unlikely one) for the couple at the end of the first film, the sequel seems to go in a different direction. Perhaps inevitably, given Florence’s current status as a worldwide celebrity, the movie will continue to explore the complex and often frustrating dynamics of celebrity. But instead of dwelling on the ‘glory’ of being famous, the filmmakers will likely explore the darker sides – the isolation, the addiction, the way fame can sometimes affect a person’s personality. It won’t be easy, but it will hopefully be an interesting ride.
The Hype Factor
To borrow a phrase made famous by the great Marlon Brando, “the hype factor” truly does seem to apply here. Despite the fact that Robert Pattinson’s fame is somewhat contingent on his association with Twilight, the actor has long been considered one of Hollywood’s great dark horses – the kind of performer who, for whatever reason, hasn’t quite ‘made it’ (yet), but who you always remember for their brilliant performances and memorable characters. For those with at least a vague sense of awareness of Robert Pattinson, that reputation is undoubtedly deserved.
Even beyond his acting, which is often brilliant, the fact that he often appears shirtless, holding a beverage or snack in front of a flawless body certainly didn’t hurt his image either. And then there’s that other, more embarrassing factor…
Rocking The Boat
Even if you haven’t heard of the term ‘teetotalling’, you’ve probably seen or heard of the phenomenon. For the uninitiated, teetotalling is the practice of abstaining from alcohol. As ridiculous as it may seem, some people actually do this. For whatever reason, some people choose to forego alcohol completely, while others might limit themselves to a few drinks a week. And while it might be tempting to assume that teetotalling is associated with some kind of extreme religiosity, that’s certainly not the case. In fact, teetotalling is most often seen as a form of recreational drug use – a way to enjoy a drink without the usual alcoholic drinks’ hangover headaches and other unpleasant side effects.
Given that Robert Pattinson has previously spoken openly about his struggles with addiction and has even gone so far as to say that he’s ‘dead to alcohol’, it would be a brave (or perhaps foolish) filmmaker who attempted to make a movie about Robert Pattinson’s life that didn’t explore the nature and/or effects of addiction in some form or another. And it would be a even braver director who attempted to make a sequel to a movie that was so clearly inspired by real-life events.
So, what happens now?
Based on the news articles and interviews that have preceded the film’s announcement, many fans are already starting to ask themselves the question: can the ‘success’ of the first film lead to the downfall of the next? Or will it be the other way around? After all, it’s never easy following a ‘successful’ movie franchise.
As much as we might want to believe that Robert Pattinson is a one-hit-wonder and this will be the only project that he’ll ever do, the truth is that he’s an actor who has decades of experience under his belt, who has proven himself time and time again. Not only that, but he has a deep well of raw material to draw on in terms of both his own experiences and those of the characters he plays. That’s arguably why the ‘hype factor’ has been so high. There aren’t too many other actors out there who have the unique combination of skill and charisma that Robert Pattinson does. And to be perfectly honest, it would probably be a bit disingenuous to pretend that we didn’t already know this before the first film. (Even the most diehard of Twilight fans had to admit that Pattinson was absolutely perfect for the part.)
So, can Hollywood’s newest, and probably least expected, hot topic lead to the downslide of one of the most recognizable and bankable actor brands? Only time will tell.