With each book series now having its own film versions, “Twilight” and “Fifty Shades of Grey" share various differences and similarities. Some parallel traits come from the source material, and some of stem from the movie adaptations. As we prepare for another major big-screen trilogy, let’s assess how Catherine Hardwicke’s first “Twilight” film stands up against Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
1. Both book series were authored by women and the first two film adaptations were directed by women. This is a big fact considering the number of women who direct big-budget movies are so low; the number is in the single digits. Just 7 percent of the top 250 films last year were directed by women. While the “Twilight” producers decided to part ways with Hardwicke after the first movie, "Fifty Shades" director Taylor-Johnson seems signed on to do the next two adaptations in the E.L. James romance series.
2. Style. Many scenes in the first "Twilight" were drenched with a light blue tint. That’s because Hardwicke chose to dampen Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) Pacific Northwest in the same gloom she felt inside before meeting Edward (Robert Pattinson) the vampire. However, Taylor-Johnson chose to go more natural (in more ways than one) in building out Ana’s (Dakota Johnson) world in a similar Northwest region. She creates earthy tones to mirror Ana’s grounded personality and samplings of gray to give Christian's (Jamie Dornan) frigid demeanor a reflective surface.
3. Both Bella and Ana have friends worried for their safety. This is something “Twilight” preserves more than the “Fifty Shades” adaptation. In "Fifty Shades" Ana’s friends and family fall quickly by the wayside as she is swept up in her passionate and isolating relationship with Christian. There’s no love triangle involving her and an old friend, José Rodriguez (Victor Rasuk), though one is hinted at in the very beginning. For Bella in "Twilight," the werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) was just as much a part of her story as Edward was.
4. Men of few words. For the most part, both films try to preserve the mysterious air of their male leads. There are a lot of moments of shadowy brooding and bedroom break-ins. Both Christian and Edward warn their love interests of their instability and the possibility of getting hurt if they remain with them for long.
5. Fairly loyal to the fans. Of course, there’s no way to fit every line of dialogue from a 500-plus-page book into a single movie (just ask the directors of the “Harry Potter” franchise). "Twilight" fans were happy with the first film when it was released in 2008, and based on the "Fifty Shades" fan reactions so far, the new franchise's first adaptation seems to be fairly loyal to its source material. Personally, we're sorry to see that Ana's “inner goddess” doesn’t make as many appearances as in the book, but there’s always the sequel.