Even the haters wouldn’t dare debate the notion that a bright, shining spotlight is now focused on the young stars of “Twilight.” The question is: Where do they go from here? On Tuesday (November 25), we took a peek into the immediate future of Robert Pattinson. Looking at his co-stars’ calendars, we find a similarly intriguing mix — this time filled with pet projects, 3-D slasher flicks and gender-bending dramas.
“I’m doing a movie called ‘K-11′ in January with Kristen Stewart,” Nikki Reed revealed to us recently, talking about her plans to be covered in tattoos and facial hair until “New Moon” starts shooting in the spring. “”It’s about a little-known section of the men’s county jail. I’m playing a man, and Kristen’s playing a boy.”
As if that project (to be directed by Stewart’s mother Jules) doesn’t seem daring enough, the woman otherwise known as Bella Swan has spent the past few months visiting locales like New Orleans’ Dixie Divas, immersing herself in the world of exotic dancers. “It’s called ‘Welcome to the Rileys,’ ” Stewart told us of the film she’s currently shooting, in which she portrays a teen stripper. “I play a really broken little child. She’s 16. James Gandolfini comes in to try and pick up the pieces [after his daughter dies], and she reawakens him. It’s a really sweet movie.”
Another sweet film is the road-trip romance flick “The Yellow Handkerchief,” which impressed crowds at Sundance last January and features Stewart in a touching role that should appeal to her new “Twilight” fans. Co-starring William Hurt and Maria Bello, the film premieres in Los Angeles this week and will open for a small Oscar-qualifying run in December.
One of the hottest “Twilight” stars is the one who we won’t be seeing in the series anymore: Mr. Cam Gigandet. We’ve already spent the past few months chronicling his impressive slate of upcoming films, including January’s “The Unborn,” but as if the ab-flaunting actor weren’t busy enough already, we then got word of a new project that casts him opposite Jena Malone.
“It’s called ‘Five Star Day,’ and oh, it’s awesome,” Gigandet told us last week when we asked about the script, to be directed by newcomer Danny Buday. “It’s about astrology, really, and how this guy is going through a bad day when he should have had a five-star day.
“It’s a great movie,” added Gigandet, memorable as a villain in “Twilight,” “Never Back Down” and “The O.C.” “And I’m finally a good guy!”
Speak with any of the “Twilight” talents, from Pattinson and Stewart to director Catherine Hardwicke, and they all agree on the greatest fringe benefit of their newfound fame: The ability to help get good movies made. That sentiment was echoed again by Peter Facinelli, who revealed that the “Twilight” momentum may finally allow him to write and star in a movie he’s been trying to make for quite some time.
“I have one movie that I’m looking to do next year, trying to squeeze that in next year sometime. It’s a movie about a kid in New York that’s a pickpocket,” Facinelli said of “Lucy’s,” a film that will mark his screenwriting debut and was built on a desire to create the type of role a cinematic icon once played regularly. “I love Steve McQueen. … I wrote this, and I’m just working on putting the financing together and maybe shoot it in  in New York. … It’s about a pickpocket in New York who basically lives this free lifestyle. It’s kind of a Steve McQueen kind of character.”
Shifting gears dramatically, we come to the next flick from versatile actor Edi Gathegi, which might just feature the single greatest movie trailer of 2008. “On January 16th, I’ve got ‘My Bloody Valentine 3-D,’ ” he grinned, referring to the upcoming slasher flick with a tagline he is all too eager to quote: “Nothing says date movie like a 3-D ride to hell!”
“There’s a specific audience for horror films, and I think that tagline is just perfect for that audience. The movie is funny and exciting, and you see axes coming through the screen,” he promised of the film, a remake of the 1981 cult classic “My Bloody Valentine.” “I play Deputy Martin, and I’m the deputy of the sheriff, who is Kerr Smith (‘Final Destination’). Jaime King (‘Sin City’) is in it, and she plays Sarah Palmer, the wife of Kerr Smith. Basically, the character of Jensen Ackles (‘Supernatural’) comes back into town, and he’s being accused of these murders that are happening. And we are trying to solve the case, trying to figure out who this murderer is.”
Meanwhile, Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz are preparing to reunite on the drama “Strife,” with the latter also preparing to shoot “Warrior” in Connecticut next month. Anna Kendrick just landed a high-profile role in Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air,” leading some to already dub her the next Ellen Page. Michael Welch has a slew of small films about everything from high-schoolers to Samurai warriors in various states of development.
Then there’s one of our personal favorites, Mr. Jackson Rathbone. Sure, he just got back from London, where he was shooting the Clive Barker horror film “Dread,” and also has the sequel to “Donnie Darko” in the can. But more than anything else, he told us, he just wants to make like Eric Yorkie and chillax.
“I’ve been working on my band firmly, 100 Monkeys,” he said of his other passion. “We’re releasing our first EP in the next two weeks, as well as our full-length improv album in a month, and then we’re going to be playing regular shows in L.A. for the next three or four months. We’re basically like jazz music, but with normal rock too.”
While filming “Twilight,” Rathbone remembered that many people in the cast found music to be a great way to relax between takes. “There were a lot of nights where I would play guitar, Nikki Reed and Kristen Stewart would sing along, or Rob would play guitar and sing, and we’d all sing with him, and I’d add a little harmonica here and there,” he smiled. “We were the Cullen Family Band.”
Where their solo careers go from here is anybody’s guess, but this much is certain: Millions of Twilighters hope these stars will be making beautiful music for many years to come.