Even fans of the Twilight films probably didn’t see them coming. Summit, the makers of the franchise, announced today that they were putting Edward Cullen and the gang on pause, in order to better focus on other projects. Their place in the pop culture firmament might never be the same.

Though Twilight is officially over, it’s not exactly safe to say that the world has left Bella and Edward behind. Summit has already begun work on a potential new installment of the franchise, entitled Midnight Sun. Set in the same universe as The Twilight Saga, Midnight Sun will see the return of some familiar faces.

While the studio has yet to confirm details of the film, they have revealed several intriguing tidbits about the project. We have an idea of what to expect, story-wise, from the get-go, and some of the key cast members have been revealed. Plus, while we know that New Moon will be set in America, Midnight Sun will see the adventures of Bella and Edward take place in a land far away from their native Canada. More details are expected to be revealed soon, as Summit strives to make the film as authentic to the books as possible.

New Beginnings

For fans of the Vampire Diaries and other paranormal YA fiction, this should come as no great surprise. Ever since Summit gained control of the franchise in 2010, they have been busily laying the groundwork for a fresh start. Though the saga was primarily set in a quaint little town in Southern Canada, the studio has steadily developed an expansive mythology, which has slowly begun to take shape on the big screen.

With no clear idea of what to do next, the fate of the Twilight franchise was in the hands of a jury of five film execs. After months of deliberation, they decided to give the series a break, in the hopes that a couple of years would go by and they could brainstorm new ideas for a potential new installment.

A More Genuine Romance

When we last left Edward and Bella, they had just gone through an emotionally draining and physically exhausting battle to the death. Though in the throes of their own passionate love affair, it is still not an easy thing to show your lover how much you care, by ripping their flesh apart. If you are lucky enough to get a second chance at love, you would most likely want to do things differently.

Since the beginning, the Twilight films have struggled with one particular issue: authenticity. Though the saga was a huge success, garnering $30+ million in ticket sales at the box office, it has long been derided for its manufactured ‘vampirism.’

In retrospect, it’s rather ironic that New Moon seemed to have been the more successful of the two parts, since it was the only one to overtly embrace its vampiric roots. For a supposedly ‘realistic’ rom com, New Moon was rather bloodthirsty. Though the following Eclipse did contain more practical lessons, it wasn’t enough to save the franchise. With audiences tired of the bloodsuckers, Summit opted to take a step back, regroup, and try something new.

More Than Meets The Eye

Summit has been busy working on other projects ever since. Though Midnight Sun is set to hit theaters on April 26, 2017, and will be the final installment of the Vampire Diaries, it will not be the end of an era for Edward and Bella fans. In August 2016, Summit released a teaser trailer for Midnight Sun, revealing glimpse after glimpse of the dynamic duo as they navigate a post-Twilight world. Though it is still highly unofficial, the teasers have not done much to disguise the epic scale of the film. In one of the clips, we discover that Bella has been secretly training for this moment her entire adult life.

Not only will Midnight Sun be the last word on their story, but it might just be the conclusion to an entire saga. With no clear idea of what will come next for Edward and Bella, the future is wide open. Let the speculation begin!