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Is there a 'Twilight' effect in Hollywood?

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Judging by the fanfare over the news that Twilight‘s Catherine Hardwicke will direct another young-adult novel (Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, out April 2), you’d think she’d already found her next blockbuster. But Stay, about a comatose teen who mulls whether life is worth living after a car accident, isn’t exactly box office bait. No matter. Now, even a loose association with Stephenie Meyer’s sensation is enough to ratchet up a project’s profile. ”I get a million offers a day, even [for] projects that studios will resurrect if I can make them more like Twilight,” says Hardwicke, who’s also developing James Patterson’s best-selling teen series Maximum Ride for Sony. ”But I don’t think anything can be like Twilight.”

Hollywood would like to disagree. Besides Hardwicke’s projects, Kevin Williamson is producing an adaptation of The Vampire Diaries for The CW, while Lionsgate just scooped up The Hunger Games, a futuristic teen-fiction series that Meyer endorsed on her blog. ”Twilight shows what we’ve known since Titanic,” says Games producer Nina Jacobson. ”If you speak to young people in a way that resonates emotionally, they’ll show up again and again.” If none of those works, Twilight fans can turn to the big-screen sequel New Moon, out Nov. 20. ”People always ask me who the next Stephenie Meyer is,” says literary agent and producer Ellen Goldsmith-Vein. ”The next Stephenie Meyer is Stephenie Meyer.”

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