After spending all day in the big Meeting Hall H at the San Diego Comic Con, I’m convinced that Twilight is going to a big freakin’ movie when it’s released in December. The crowd was dominated by females of all ages (but skewing to the 13-20 year old range) that screamed for Keanu Reeves, Mark Whalberg, and Hugh Jackman but turned their knobs up to 11 when the Twilight panel appeared at the end of a Summit Pictures session. The panel was greeted with a reaction that reminded me of what a Backstreet Boys concert was like. Or at least what I imagine a Backstreet Boys concert was like.

While there obviously could have just had a man stand up at the front and yell out “Twilight is awesome, Edward is hottttttttt!” and gotten a big reaction, Summit brought along the whole crew. In addition to director Catherine Hardwicke and the source book’s author Stephanie Meyer, cast members Robert Pattinson (Edward), Kristen Stewart (Bella), Cam Gigandet (James), Taylor Lautner (Jacob), Rachelle LaFevre (Victoria), and Edi Gathegi (Laurant) manned the stage. Pattinson was far and away the heartthrob of the hour and the reaction of the screaming fans to his every utterance was kind of amazing. Even he seemed amazed and often answered questions with a bewildered look on his face and some combination of “uh, jeez, wow, this is, I don’t know, wow.” Stewart got off on the wrong foot with the fans by saying she had never heard of the book before being approached about the movie (murmurs of disapproval were popping up all around me) but then adding that the love portrayed in the book and movie was “perfect in its own perfection.” I’m sure that’s true even if I don’t quite understand what it means.

Meyer noted that she felt this was the right company and right cast to make a movie of her popular book. Since the movie recently finished filming, it’s probably good she has those feelings. The panel didn’t screen a trailer but did bring along a full clip where James terrorizes and attacks Bella and Edward saves her. It brought deafening screams whenever Edward was shown doing anything. No one seemed to care that as far as an action scene goes, it was pretty mediocre. Heck, even I didn’t care; I was just lost in Edward’s pale skin and haunting eyes. After the clip was done, we came to the insightful fan questions. Here’s where things really got fun.

The first question was, and I’m quoting, “How is it to portray super-hot vampires in the movie.” The question was met with screams of delight from the crowd and aw-shucks looks and laughs from the guys in the cast. Most of the remaining questions were along the lines of “you guys are really cute and sexy, I love you, what do you love?” and answers that didn’t stray far from “this is such a great book and great cast and we love you fans so much” We did learn that Robert Pattinson has composed a song that will probably (hint, hint) get used in the film and soundtrack and that everyone wants to do a sequel except those vampires who die in the first movie.

This really wasn’t an event to provide new information or to convert the uninitiated; it was solely to fire up the true believers. It worked like a charm. They came in ready to love and adore and scream their lungs out and just by sitting there and saying things like “hot” and “kissing” and “love” they gave the people what they wanted. Although the Hall had been packed full all morning, the crowds left in droves as the lights went up following this panel. It was a Twilight day.

For all of our criminally complete 2008 San Diego Comic Con coverage go here.

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