I have a lot of technical concerns about the movie, but most are obvious and will likely be addressed by the professionals in charge of this project. Things like the scenes of intimacy between Bella and Edward, the birthing scene, and the depiction of the final showdown will require capable hands at the helm, but my primary concerns have more to do with the problems in “selling” certain fundamental aspects of the story. I guess I have more concerns about what is going to be put in than left out, and this has more to do with the adaption of the novel to the big screen rather than the novel itself.
1. Jacob imprinting on Renesmee. I don’t know how they are going to pull this off. As mentioned before, definitely play up the “protector” aspect of it, as that is about the only possible angle I can see that might be accepted by enough of the audience that this doesn’t become an “issue”. My gut instinct is to emphasize Jacob’s initial reaction to Renesmee, which was murderous, so that the audience thinks “Oh no! He’s going to kill the baby? Oh my God! Someone stop him! What’s that? Jacob imprinted on her? Huh, don’t know what that is all about, but thank God, that was a close one, whew!”. On the other hand, while that might sell the imprinting a bit better, a lot of us breeze through that part of the chapter (I know that I do) and don’t think a lot about it, because no one actually believes Jacob is going to attack and kill the child. Portraying this in the movie will be very difficult though, because Jacob is going to be onscreen actually preparing himself to commit infanticide. Jacob is prepared to kill Bella’s child, the one he just helped deliver. He then falls in love with Bella’s child, the one he just helped deliver. Granted that imprinting isn’t exactly like falling in love, I get that, but 100% of the imprints eventually get romantically involved anyway with the sole possible exception of Quil (although that is likely going to happen also). Even SM implies that both Jacob and Nessie are “good to go”. Taylor has his work cut out for him.
I fully accept the canon of the Twilight saga and have no problem as an avid fan, but I fear the movie audience is not going to be so accepting. If I was writing the screenplay I would be sorely tempted to just write this part out, but there is just no way to do it because Jacob’s imprinting is critical to the plot.
For me, I think the best cutoff between the two movies is somewhere during Bella’s transformation, but that places the ending of Part 1 after the imprinting. I’m placing odds, however, that the screenplay for Part 1 will kick the can down the road and wait until Part 2 to bring up the imprinting.
2. Bella as Vampire. Even SM says she had a disconnect with Bella once she is changed. On top of that, we now have the visual of Bella with her vivid red eyes for the ENTIRE Part 2 of the movie. I have a real fear that the movie audience is going to lose their connection with Bella. I have a couple of suggestions to the studio that may or may not work: a) keep the focus on Edward and Bella and their relationship (get back to basics), and b) make sure that Kristen is always looking absolutely spectacular. Never have so many millions of dollars ridden on the basic makeup for a single actor. Oh, and a third, c) make Kristen look as cruddy as you can during the pregnancy, you have to get everyone’s minds off of how fantastic she looked during the wedding. Bella as vampire needs to appear as a definite improvement and you are happy for her. And one more thing, d) make sure J. Jenks is in the movie, this is Bella’s only shot appearing in front of humans outside of her family, you can really have some fun with this.
3. Renesmee. I don’t have any technical concerns about how this is done. The biggest pitfall is much more subtle. Audiences typically do not respond well to portrayals of children as “super special” and overly precocious, especially if they arrive late in the game. This is hard to define, but they are definitely a turn-off. Maybe it’s because it looks so Hollywood phony, or desperate, or exploitative, or that parents, especially, do not like the suggestion that the child onscreen is more special that anyone else’s. Dakota Fanning in “I am Sam” is a good example of how to do this right and not overdo it, and she is there right at the beginning. There are many other examples, however, where the new kid is brought in and the focus of the show starts revolving around them, and they always seem to be just a bit too precious and precocious. And then the series gets cancelled (e.g., see Partridge Family, Brady Bunch, Family Ties, Different Strokes, etc.).
Keep the focus on Bella and Edward, and make the final showdown an issue of battling for their child, not “super special” Renesmee. A little bit of soft-pedaling Nessie will help a lot. Take too much “child” out of the child, and I think it’s going to be a big loser.
"It will take an amazing amount of control,” she mused. “More even than Carlisle has. He may be just strong enough…the only thing he’s not strong enough to do is stay away from her. That’s a lost cause.”