November 22, 2009

Why New Moon's werewolves go shirtless

“Twilight: New Moon” stars and filmmakers talk shirtless scenes“I wish I could take credit for the moments of Jacob pulling off his shirt and Edward pulling off his shirt. They are in the book and it seemed unwise to leave them out,” said screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg at the recent “New Moon” press day at the Four Seasons Hotel, referring to Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling second “Twilight” novel, “New Moon.”

“That would be a cut that you would regret,” added director Chris Weitz. “I like to say it’s all essentially economics. You see, the Quileutes don’t have very high average income and they can’t afford the T-shirts they would need, given the amount of times they turn into wolves on short notice and their clothes burst. So, really, they’d have to go to Walmart every 10 minutes. They just go around in shorts for that reason.”

Jacob and his fellow werewolves are all part of the Quileute Indian tribe. Some tribe members have the genetic ability to transform to wolves with lightning-quick speed, shredding their clothes in the process. They also have a body temperature of 108.9 degrees, so clothes aren’t a priority despite the chilly weather in Forks, Wash.
Comment:  Weitz's explanation is phony and disingenuous. Here's why:

1) Why doesn't the Wolf Pack worry about their pants as well as their shirts? Going by Weitz's reasoning, they should walk around naked to avoid ripping anything.

2) T-shirts are perhaps the cheapest form of clothing ever. They're much less expensive than pants--even shorts--which have stitching, pockets, buttons, and zippers. A cost-conscious werewolf would wear a t-shirt and no pants, not the other way around.

And what about their shoes, which are even more expensive than pants? We see Jacob and Paul exploding their sneakers in the trailer. Is the Quileute tribe getting free shoes from Nike, or is Weitz's explanation a crock?

3) Clark Kent manages to remove an entire suit before flying to the rescue as Superman. Most superheroes take a few seconds to change into their costumes. Why don't the werewolves take a couple seconds to remove their t-shirts rather than destroy them?

4) Werewolves have a high body temperature? They're also 6'7" or thereabouts. If you're concerned about making them less beast-like and more human, you can change their temperatures as well as their heights.

Incidentally, one website says wolves have a body temperature of 100.4-102.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Why did Stephenie Meyer give her werewolves a much higher temperature? Because then she could portray them as hot-blooded (literally)...half-naked...savage!

The real reason

Weitz might as well tell us the real reason. The Twilight people are selling hot young men and women engaging in illicit relationships. This is enhanced when the hunky guys go shirtless. Man up, Chris, and admit you're make softcore entertainment for teenage girls and gay men.

Summarizing and translating Weitz's claims: "Indians are too poor to afford shirts. Indians are too animal-like to need shirts. Because of these two unrelated excuses, we'll darken their skins and film them half-naked just like we did 100 years ago. That way, they'll look more like the savages audiences expect."

For more on the subject, see Wolf Pack Shows Savage Side and Quileute Werewolves in Twilight.


Kat said...

To be fair though: If you make a movie out of a book and the author maintains artistic control of the book (Meyer was present through part of the filming process and it was discussed with her in detail), you will have to as a director stay fateful to the book. In the book the werewolves also have no shirts, but roll up their shorts and wear them with leather straps around their legs. They get naked before they turn to werewolves most of the time. In a prudish American film for tweens this is impossible. I find this ridiculous, since one of my favorite (European) children's films of all time features extensive full frontal male nudity. Seeing non-sexual nudity (as in: characters bathing etc) on screen was normal for me as a young child.
Therefore since it is okay for men to be shown shirtless in the US, but not pants-less, this was not an option for Weitz.
In the same vein, I doubt that there will ever be a "contact" film made which will feature women topless.

dmarks said...

I'm reading the Sookie Stackhouse books, and yes they have werewolves.

The werewolves in these books, like the "Twilight" ones, are slightly more beastlike even when in their human form, and they have a higher than normal (higher than humans, higher than that of wolves) body temperature.

Anonymous said...

stupidiest article EVER.