The fifth installment of the series was released two years ago on the understanding that it would be the last, and movie critics breathed a sigh of relief. However in a novel attempt to rekindle interest in the franchise, it has been announced that five aspiring female directors will be selected to make short films based on Twilight characters, which will be shown exclusively on Facebook.
Stephenie Meyer, creator of the Twilight saga, will continue her collaboration with Lions Gate, the studio which produced the original films and will finance the proposed short films.
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Facebook and Hollywood collide
“We think Facebook is a great way for us to introduce the world of ‘Twilight’ to a whole new audience while re-energizing existing fans,” said Michael Burns, Lions Gate’s vice chairman.
The initiative is reflective of a wider strategy that has been recently implemented by Hollywood. Instead of leaving a vacuum of information in between sequels of major film series, as used to be the case, studios are now using Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube and other online platforms to maintain interest in dormant franchises.
“This is the just the beginning — a template, if you will,” Mr. Burns added. “You can probably guess what might be coming next.”
Mr. Burns seems to be quite the tease, but film studios will be more interested in the Facebook angle. Commentators have speculated that Facebook can move beyond being a platform for movie trailers, to being used to distribute entire movies to its 1.3 billion monthly users.
A trend towards further collaboration
This is not the first time that Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) have worked together. They released a teaser for “Divergent” in December, which was the service’s first video ad.
The entertainment industry would also appear to be interested in collaborations using Oculus VR products, a maker of virtual reality headsets that was bought by Facebook for $2 billion in July.