Twilight fans — your vampire hunk Edward could have been a neurotic Jew named Shmoikel!
At least, that’s the premise of “Shmoikel’s Twilight,” a mockumentary which reveals the secret history of the tween-film phenomenon “Twilight,” in which Robert Pattinson was, in fact, the second actor cast to play the lead roll Edward, after Hollywood executives decided the self-described neurotic and Brooklyn filmmaker Keith Black might not be the right fit.
“I was the original pick to star in the “Twilight” franchise,” Black said. “I interpreted Stephenie Meyer’s book as a Jewish allegory.”
In the faux film, Black — who somehow managed to achieve complete creative control of the blockbuster film project — changed Edward to Shmoikle, a nice Jewish vampire from Brooklyn, and Jacob to Mordecai, who sells beepers in New Jersey
He was about 50-percent of the way through with his reimagining of the ‘Twilight’ story, when Hollywood got their hands on the footage and realized the terrible mistake they’d made.
“I wanted to show if a vampire can be neurotic, we all can,” Black said. “Nobody can be perfect at everything!”
Realizing that Black’s interpretation would do nothing for their teenage girl target audience, producers supposedly canned Black, hired Pattinson, and cut their losses, all the while keeping Black’s project as hush, hush as humanly possible.
But the Jewish filmmaker dug up the old footage to prove to everyone that his reimagining of the vampire story had more in common with Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” than HBO’s “True Blood.”
“In a way, It’s kind of like “Annie Hall” with fangs,” said Black.
And Shmoikel the vampire isn’t neurotic for nothing.
“[He] drives the waiters crazy, because he worries that they will put garlic in his food,” Black said. “I’ve really done that to waiters. I don’t eat farm fish, only fresh-caught fish. One time, I kept sending this waiter back to the kitchen, like six times, and he eventually turned to me and said, ‘What do want? A video of the fish being caught?’”
Black hopes the $500 budget mockumentary will stand as a testament to his talents as a film maker, and prove an inspiration to middle-aged men, still hoping to break into the Hollywood spotlight.
“There is a niche for a guy like me,” Black insisted. “I’m middle aged and I’m relishing it instead of fighting it. I’m optimistic and have the same energy as every 18 year old. If Hollywood puts me on the screen, millions will identify with that.”
“Shmoikel’s Twilight” at IndieScreen [285-289 Kent Ave. at S. Second Street, in Williamsburg, (718) 388–4306, www.indiescreen.us]. Nov. 16, 6:30 pm.Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cn