DevelopmentMeyer stated in her Breaking Dawn FAQ that if a film were to be created, she thought it would have to be made into two movies because "it's hard to imagine it fitting into ninety minutes. The book is just so long! I can't imagine how to distill it—if I could, the book would be shorter." According to Variety, the studio had decided to split the 756-page book into two films, along the same lines as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Subsequently, Summit had to negotiate new deals with the main cast, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, since they were only under contract for four films.
Meyer also believed it may be impossible to make Breaking Dawn into a film, due to Renesmee, writing that an actress could not play her because she is a baby but has complete awareness, and that "the one thing that I've never seen is a CGI human being which truly looks real"; however, she went on to state that "they develop amazing new technologies everyday, and we've got a little time left." It is still however unknown whether Renesmee will be CGI, or if one/many actresses will portray her. There are also concerns about making a PG-13 movie adaptation, given the book's complex and graphic storylines, including the birth of a half-vampire, half-human baby.
It was announced on April 28, 2010 that Bill Condon will direct the film. On July 5, on Twitter, Melissa Rosenberg, the official screenwriter for Twilight, announced that Breaking Dawn will remain a PG-13 movie. She added that, quote: "I think we can get awfully [hot] with PG-13. I'm not worried about the rating. I know a lot of fans are like, 'We have to go R to do it justice', but i don't think so. I think it's going to be pretty hot. Way hot!" Rosenberg says. Rosenberg was referring to the worry of some fans about the movie being rated R because of love scenes between Edward and Bella. She added that a lot can be done in a PG-13 movie, despite what skeptics may think or say.
FilmingIn July 2010, Summit announced that the movie will be shot in Vancouver, Canada and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Both parts of Breaking Dawn were shot simultaneously as one project. Filming officially began on November 1, 2010 in Brazil.
It took about four to five weeks to shoot the ending sequence of Part 2 which would consume about twenty-seven minutes of the film. The sequence was shot using a green screen and fake snow with 75 actors on set.
Filming wrapped on April 15, 2011, ending the franchise's three years of production since March 2008.
In April 2012, director Bill Condon announced that there would be reshoots in Los Angeles. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart filmed that day as the very last day of filming for the Twilight franchise.
LeaksWhen the filming started on November 7, 2010 in the Lapa District and Paraty, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, leaked set photos and footage videos surfaced online. Summit Entertainment responded to the leaks by removing the photos and videos from YouTube, fansites, and gossip websites. On January 13, 2011, scans of a still of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in one of their honeymoon scenes in an Entertainment Weekly article ran online, prior to the magazine's official release of the still. On March 31 and April 1, 2011, a mass leak of a 14-second video and numerous low-quality stills hit the Internet, resulting to enthusiastic fan reaction and speculations that the film wouldn't be able to maintain a PG-13 rating.
Summit Entertainment official statement saying:
- As some of you may know, pictures and screen grabs of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn as a work in progress have leaked on the internet. We are extremely proud of this film and also extremely heartbroken to see it out there at this stage. The film and these images are not yet ready or in their proper context. They were illegally obtained and their early dissemination is deeply upsetting to the actors, the filmmakers and Summit who are working so hard to bring these movies to fruition to you in November 2011 and November 2012. Please, for those who are posting, stop. And please, though the temptation is high, don't view or pass on these images. Wait for the film in its beautiful, finished entirety to thrill you. Sincerely, Stephenie Meyer, Bill Condon, Wyck Godfrey and Summit Entertainment.
LawsuitOn August 1, 2011, Summit released a press release announcing the identification of some of the alleged people responsible for the leak of images and video from Breaking Dawn on March 31 and April 1 and the decision to take legal action. Summit claimed that the leak came from Posadas, Argentina, but due to the possibility that other people might be involved in the leak, the investigation is still ongoing. The only person Summit named was a woman called Daiana Santia, resident in Posadas, allegedly being involved in the group that stole the images and footage. Civil action has been filed in the U.S. and Argentina, while criminal action has also been filed in Argentina. Summit hired law firm Keats McFarland & Wilson LLP to search four continents, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia, to find the other people behind the leak.
On the other hand, Santia hosted a press conference in her town and denied Summit's claims. She claimed that she only saw the images "while surfing the Internet" and didn't send them to anyone. She also stated that she didn't log in anywhere to see them and denies having the technical knowledge of hacking, specifically saying that she "in no way be considered a "hacker" because [she] has no computer skills other than simple user level". Her attorney confirmed that Santia and her family are considering a counterclaim against Summit due to defamation of character and continual harassment by the film's producers who kept requesting that she would let them check her computer to see if she still has the images on her hard disk, although she refused more than once claiming that she is innocent and her computer contains personal items. Her attorney called the situation "a harm to privacy and personal right".
Summit's official response to the press conference said, "First and most important this is NOT about greed or the Studio wanting to bully a woman from a small town in Argentina – rather, it is about stolen material that is private and sensitive which was obtained by illegally accessing private/secure servers as well as personal email accounts." Summit gave details about the case stating that the studio has been in contact with Santia since May 2011, but "with no resolution or further good faith efforts on their part, thus the only alternative left was to pursue legal action to ascertain that Ms. Santia no longer holds the images and video in any shape or form. In the response, Summit announced the following claims:
- Specifically on June 8, 2011 Ms. Santia confessed in the presence of her attorney that she accessed servers and email accounts via a systematic attack — stealing photographs, unfinished images and video footage over several months. Additionally there is indisputable evidence linking her directly to IP addresses that were used in the unauthorized access. Her actions appear to be premeditated and not done on a whim, but rather using technology and tactics that require thought as well as time and skill. Because Ms. Santia decided that she does not want to cooperate, Summit has been unable to settle this matter privately with Ms. Santia and her representatives in Argentina.
- Breaking Dawn is the only two-part movie in the series.
- All the films and its logos have all been in a certain tint. Twilight: blue/grey; New Moon: gold/brown; Eclipse: white/grey/red; Breaking Dawn - Part 1: coral/red; Breaking Dawn - Part 2: yellow/blue.
- Both parts of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn were filmed as one whole movie over several months.
- This film had a $120 million dollar budget, making it the highest out of every Twilight installment filmed.
- This is the first of the Twilight movies to ever have such extensive credits, in both the beginning and end.
- This is the first film featuring opening credits.