Oh, you Twi-hards have got to be happy about this one.

On her official website today, Stephenie Meyer announced that she's about to publish a new Twilight novel.  Or a novella, rather, and it's not a sequel so much as it is a digression following a character who evidently plays a key role in Eclipse, the next of the books to be adapted to film.

In the upcoming film, directed by David Slade, Jodelle Ferland, best known for her work in "Silent Hill" and "Tideland," appears as a character named Bree Tanner, who is a newborn vampire.  Having not read the book, I'm not sure how big a role she has, but evidently Meyer couldn't shake the character.  As a result, she started working on a piece that was meant to be published as part of an upcoming book called The Twilight Saga: The Official Guide, a way to fill out some more information on who she was.  The material kept growing, though, and eventually ended up as a 200-page story.

So the decision's been made to publish The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner as a stand-alone novella, which will be available on June 5, 2010.

But even before that, it played a particular role in the upcoming film version of "Eclipse," which I'll let Meyer describe in her own words:

"At the same time, it came in handy for the Eclipse film. Melissa (Rosenberg, the screenwriter) had a ton of questions about what exactly was going on in Seattle, how Victoria managed things, what Riley was like, etc.  I let her read what I had then, and later gave the whole thing to the director, David Slade.  David asked if Xavier, Bryce, and Jodelle (Riley, Victoria, and Bree) could read it as well, so all the parties involved would end up having a really strong foundation for their characters before the cameras started rolling.  I was pleased that this side of the story would make it into the film and was looking forward to including it in the Guide."

Evidently, the book takes place as the same time as the events of Eclipse, and the release of this book just before that film hits theaters should help get that already-rabid audience even more invested.  My question is whether or not there's a way for the producers to milk one more movie, maybe for the home video market, out of the series, since no one at Summit is going to be eager to see the series end.  Sounds like a perfect opportunity, and Ferland is a strong young actress who could certainly carry a movie of her own.

Meyer is publishing a hardcover edition of the book, and one dollar from every copy sold will go to the American Red Cross for help with Haiti relief, but she's also planning to make the film available for a full month for free online at the character's website, from June 7 to July 5.

"Eclipse" will be in theaters Wednesday, June 30th.  Based on my reactions to the first two films, it's more than likely that I won't.

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