Fans of the Twilight franchise have been wondering if the recent departure of Robert Pattinson from the cast would mean a change in the series’ direction. Well, they needn’t have been. It seems the breakup of the romantic duo created a void in the story that the filmmakers were keen to fill. Thus, the result is Eclipse, a prequel that sees the two characters, Bella and Edward, settle into a more traditional relationship. As for Pattinson, after his split from Bella he took a break from acting to focus on his music career, which landed him in the public eye.

Robert Pattinson’s Departure

After playing the titular character in the Twilight films, Robert Pattinson decided to take a step back from the role. The British actor cited “personal reasons” for his decision. However, the split from his co-star and girlfriend, Kristen Stewart, was definitely a contributing factor. The pair had been involved in a tumultuous relationship that lasted several years.

Pattinson filed for divorce from Stewart in June 2016, a few months after the release of the final installment in the Twilight franchise, Breaking Dawn – Part 2. The pair had been going through a rough patch for some time, and at one point they reportedly considered counseling as a solution. Things came to a head following the Cannes Film Festival in May 2016, when Pattinson was booed by a crowd of fans after he dropped by a screening of Stewart’s new movie, Camping. The actress later explained on Twitter that she was protecting her son, Bobbie, who was three years old at the time.

Pattinson later expressed remorse for his decision to divorce Stewart. “I feel terrible about the way I handled things. I never meant to hurt Kristen or her son,” he confessed to Variety. “This is a difficult and complicated situation, and I don’t feel that anyone could have handled it better than she did. She’s a remarkable woman. I hope we can put this experience behind us and continue to support each other as mothers and partners.”

Eclipse Is A Prequel

In deciding to reboot the Twilight franchise, the filmmakers found a way to bring back one of the franchise’s most popular characters. Edward Cullen had played an integral part in the series, and fans had grown attached to him. So, in Eclipse, the story begins with Bella and Edward meeting in graduate school, where the latter is teaching. Edward was originally set to appear in the first Twilight film, but the part was re-written for Stephenie Meyer’s now-iconic vampire, Edward Cullen.

Much to the delight of fans, the movie sees the charismatic vampire, played by Tobey Maguire, return to the big-screen in a comeback role. The franchise’s other major star, Kristen Stewart, also makes an appearance in the movie as Bella’s best friend, Victoria. The pair first met on the set of the Twilight films, where Stewart had portrayed Victoria’s twin sister, Bella.

Eclipse is set 10 years before the first Twilight installment and provides more insight into the characters’ romantic entanglements. In this time, Edward and Bella have settled down and are now parents to twin boys, Edward Jr. and Robert. The film also introduces us to Alice, a young woman who has an illicit affair with Bella’s husband, Edward. Heiress to a large fortune, Alice feels she can’t trust anyone, especially after the death of her parents. Ultimately, the character’s sole purpose in Eclipse is to get close to Bella and Edward in an attempt to hurt them. The film sees her manipulate, seduce, and deceive her way into their hearts.

New York City As A Setting

The trailer for Eclipse prominently featured scenes shot in New York City, most notably at Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge. While the setting may seem like a dream come true for anyone connected to the series, it wasn’t easy to pull off. The majority of the film was primarily shot in Spain, with select scenes in Washington state’s Naches American Indian Park.

Director Bill Johnson explained that it wasn’t simply a case of taking the first city that came to mind – the settings of the film are meant to reflect and enhance the story. “There’s a reason why New York City — and Brooklyn Bridge in particular — has been so appealing to us as a location. We see the city as a character in the movie, as well as a stage for some of the story’s most pivotal scenes. While we were fortunate enough to have many of the locations in New York City look as good as possible, there are still some that could use a little touch-up. But the entire city really does feel like a character in the movie, with its eclectic mix of cultures, crowds, and landscapes. It’s a visual feast that really feels like a movie set.”

More Of An ‘Underground Film’

As with many prequels, Eclipse seeks to both retread the same story told in the first installment and then add a ‘twist’ that will surprise audiences. The movie doesn’t reinvent the wheel but rather picks up the plotline right after Bella and Edward’s marriage in the first Twilight film. However, fans should still expect major ‘hooks’ that will draw them back for more.

Eclipse begins with Edward returning to his family’s home in Forks, Washington, after spending some time in Canada. He has missed the birth of his grandchild, Victoria’s first, and wants to be there for the family’s upcoming celebration. Unfortunately, Victoria doesn’t trust him to stay out of the picture for long, so she makes a plan to sneak him in when no one is watching.

Though Victoria’s intentions are good, her plan backfires when she makes the mistake of letting too many people see him. Even worse, Edward is seen by Bella, who has returned from her honeymoon with an illegitimate son, William. The scene sees Bella confront the pregnant Victoria over her deception, and the two women fight for Robert’s affections. The resulting altercation is what starts a firestorm that forces Edward to leave town — permanently.

To say that Bella and Edward’s romance is a central theme of the Twilight series would be an understatement. In addition to the two leading characters’ tumultuous relationship, the series is renowned for its beautiful cinematography and memorable set pieces. The latter include the Volturi castle in New Moon, the Chicago skyline in Eclipse, and the seashore in Breaking Dawn. While it may be difficult to top, the upcoming Halloween film appears to top all these already-famous landmarks.