• Film adaptation for knowing audiences: analysing fan on-line responses to the end of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

      Pearce, Samantha; Weedon, Alexis; University of Bedfordshire (2017-11-30)
      Critics of film adaptations of literary works have historically evaluated the success or failure of the movie on the grounds of its fidelity to the original book. In contrast popular arguments for medium specificity have questioned whether fidelity is possible when adapting one medium to another. This article follows recent academic work which has focused awareness on the processes of adaptation by examining evidence of reading and viewing experience in online and social media forums.      The broader research project explored the online Twilight fan community as an example of a ‘knowing audience’ acquainted with both novel and film. Here we focus on the strong response within fan forums to the surprise ending of the final film adaptation Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012). The research uses the forum, blog and facebook page as sites for evidence of reading experience as defined by the Reading Experience Database (RED). The analysis sheds new light on the tensions that exist between fidelity and deviation and the article positions fan audiences as intensive readers who gained unexpected pleasure from a deviation from a canon. It argues that fans are also collaborators within the adaptation process who respect authorial authority and discuss the author’s, scriptwriter’s and director’s interpretation of the novel for the screen. The research identifies the creative and commercial advantages to be gained from a collaborative and open dialogue between adaptors and fans.  Keywords: Adaptation, fandom, online fan communities, Twilight, reading experience, film, audiences, fidelity, canon, collaboration, screenwriting, franchise, Stephenie Meyer, Melissa Rosenberg, Bill Condon