‘Twilight’ Movie and Books Announce Imminent Pop-Culture Takeover

If you don't read young-adult fiction, you might have been surprised to spot this creepy-looking dude and his raven-haired beauty on the cover of today's Entertainment Weekly. You even may have thought, Daniel Radcliffe is looking kinda chalky there. But in fact, these apple-eaters are Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, the stars of the upcoming film Twilight, based on Stephenie Meyer's enormously successful series of teen-vampire books. Okay, the film is "upcoming" in the sense that it's going to be released in December, so it's "upcoming" eventually, but you should probably start preparing now.

Perhaps you watched the Twilight trailer a couple of months ago, or perhaps you've been in a Barnes & Noble recently to see the enormous displays heralding the August 2 release of Breaking Dawn, the "fourth and final" book in the Twilight series starring tooth-crossed lovers Edward and Bella. (Meyer's official site can tell you down to the millisecond how far away that is, right this … millisecond.) But if you haven't done those things, and if you don't read extra-extra-advance publicity, you may not be prepared.

Consider a few facts: As soon as the EW cover appeared, fans started melting down because Edward didn't look the way they expected. Harry Potter–style midnight release parties are planned for Breaking Dawn. MTV has received 2,573 responses to a blog post just asking Twilight fans what they like to be called. Even if you don't care about teenagers, or vampires, or cornball fan videos — seriously, a YouTube search for "Edward Bella James Blunt" already returns ten results, and the movie is months away — this thing is going to stampede across your holiday season. -Linda Holmes