So the news came in last weekend that Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke will NOT be directing the next two movies of the franchise, New Moon and Eclipse. I wasn’t entirely surprised by this move, though I am shocked by what insiders of Summit said of Hardwicke. According to Deadline Hollywood Daily, Hardwicke “was difficult and irrational during the making of Twilight.” It goes on saying how Summit plain out didn’t like her.
I guess I’ll never really know if these accusations are true or not, but I find it hard to believe. The Summit Entertainment press release said how Hardwicke won’t be directing the sequels because of how Summit wants to speed the process up to film the next two sequels back-to-back, starting in about 3 or 4 months. That doesn’t give Hardwicke enough “prep time to bring her vision of the film to the big screen.”
Okay. I’m fine with that. I’m also okay with how she probably wanted more money, and now with the blown-out success of Twilight there should be a huge increase in budget for the sequels… and Hardwicke is more the indie-filmmaker, who knows what she’ll do with $100 million. But you can’t take away what she did for Twilight. She took a huge movie with high expectations and made it a legitimate teen, sci-fi film for only $37 million. It has grossed over $138 million in three weeks, and though it probably would’ve made that much if a monkey directed it, Hardwicke actually made the movie pretty good.
So what’s next for the Twilight Saga? There have been reports that The Golden Compass director/writer Chris Weitz has been offered to direct New Moon. Well, all the power to female directors has just gone out the window. Weitz would be a solid choice, although The Golden Compass was a flop. It’s assured that New Moon won’t be a dud, unless there is some serious backlash for axing Hardwicke… but that’ll probably disappear in a few weeks.
But really? Chris Weitz? His adaptation of The Golden Compass didn’t do the Philip Pullman classics justice. The Catholics of the world were heavily against the release of the movie. Weitz certainly was feeling a lot of heat from them, and while writing and shooting the film made some very controversial adjustments to the story. I read the book, and let’s just say what he did is comparable to if Twilight had ended right when it was known that James was tracking Bella. Weitz left out the final few chapters of the novel and therefore ended the film before the most significant sequence took place. I don’t know what he was thinking.
I’m sure he’s learned his lesson… right? So now we just have to wait to see if he accepts Summit’s offer or not. My opinion… he’s already crumbled under pressure once with a big-time fantasy film. He should stick with small comedies that get critical acclaim, like About a Boy. He’s not the director the Twilight Saga needs.