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Catherine Hardwicke will not direct 'Twilight' sequels

December 7, 2008 |  6:33 pm

Despite introducing America's most successful new movie franchise, Catherine Hardwicke will not direct the sequels to "Twilight." Summit Entertainment Co-Chairman/Chief Executive Rob Friedman tells Nikki Finke of DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com: "Catherine and Summit have agreed to part ways on the sequel because our visions are different."

Catherine_hardwicke_twilight

Finke reports a source says the studio is taking Hardwicke off the sequel because she "was 'difficult' and 'irrational' during the making of "Twilight." The movie received lukewarm reviews — scoring 53 on Metacritic — but it nabbed respectful notices from some major media, such as Entertainment Weekly magazine and the Los Angeles Times, was produced for a modest budget of $40 million and has grossed more than $160 million in several weeks. Most hit films suffer huge attendance plunges after opening weekend, but "Twilight" has held on for a third weekend, coming in second place these last few days, reaping $13.2 million. The success of "Twilight" is so spectacular that plans are now underway to shoot the next two installments of Stephenie Meyers' books — "New Moon" and "Eclipse" — back to back in order to save money.

"This terrible news for Hardwicke comes just as she and the 'Twilight' cast (Robert Pattinson, Kristin Stewart) are on their European press tour," Finke adds. "No doubt tomorrow's interviews in France will now focus entirely on what, if anything, Catherine did to deserve this treatment. This also could blow up into a scandal for Summit if it chooses a male director over Hardwicke, whose 'Twilight' easily beat Mimi Leder's 1998 'Deep Impact' box office gross as the biggest opener for a female director."

The Los Angeles Times applauded Hardwicke's direction of "Twilight": "Neither Laurence Olivier attempting Shakespeare nor Konstantin Stanislavski tackling Chekhov approached their material with the degree of reverence that Hardwicke brings to 'Twilight.' A director whose entire career ('Thirteen,' 'Lords of Dogtown,' even 'The Nativity Story') has been built on the veneration of young adults, Hardwicke has connected so intensely to the Meyer novel that it's hard to imagine anyone else making a better version.

Pattin_hardwicke_jzhqsdnc_2 "Hardwicke also was instrumental in casting Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson as the star-crossed Bella and Edward, and those choices were excellent, not only because they're skilled performers but also because they too threw themselves into their parts as if they were Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor doing 'Camille' for George Cukor."

Entertainment Weekly said: "On screen, 'Twilight' is repetitive and a tad sodden, too prosaic to really soar. But Hardwicke stirs this teen pulp to a pleasing simmer." The Philadelphia Inquirer cheered Hardwicke for helming "Twilight" with "savvy humor."

The studio issued the following press notice:

"Summit Entertainment and director Catherine Hardwicke jointly announced today that the filmmaker will not be directing the next installment in the newly minted 'Twilight' film franchise. Summit’s targeted end of 2009 or early 2010 release of the film, 'New Moon,' does not work with Ms. Hardwicke's required prep time to bring her vision of the film to the big screen. Thus, as has been done before with many successful film franchises, the studio will employ a new director for 'New Moon.'

"'I am sorry that due to timing I will not have the opportunity to direct "New Moon,"' said Hardwicke. 'Directing 'Twilight' has been one of the great experiences of my life, and I am grateful to the fans for their passionate support of the film. I wish everyone at Summit the best with the sequel — it is a great story.'

"'Catherine did an incredible job in helping us to launch the 'Twilight' franchise and we thank her for all of her efforts and we very much hope to work with her on future Summit projects,' said Summit President of Production Erik Feig. 'We as a studio have a mandate to bring the next installment in the franchise to the big screen in a timely fashion so that fans can get more of Edward, Bella and all of the characters that Stephenie Meyer has created. We are able to pursue an aggressive time frame as we have the luxury of only adapting the novels into screenplays as opposed to having to create a storyline from scratch.'"

Top photo: Catherine Hardwicke. Lower photo: Robert Pattinson and Hardwicke. Credit: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

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Comments

I've only just finished viewing "Twilight" for the first time and found it to be incredibly intense,subtle, sensul and beautiful. All the cast were masterfully selected. I thought the direction was so amazing I had to go on the internet straight away,to find out all about the director, only to discover the disappointing news. The entire scene where Edward shows Bella his room for the first time is particularly poignant. Robert's aura in this scene came across to me as incredibly seductive as well as playful. A great and sensitive actor. I wonder if the director advised him to sound his sensual "deep sigh", moments before Edward leaps Bella with him through the window, or if he did that on his own volition. Either way, it doesn't matter, because they're brilliant in their art.

Eclipse and new moon are great they really are. But in my opinion no way as enchanting as twilight. It took me a while to realise why the 2nd and 3rd installments were so different until i watched some behind the scenes stuff and thought hang on a minute . . . Different director. Just a bit slow! I think it is a shame as she seemed a lot more passionate about it all than the current bloke.

i think that she should direct the last twilight sequel she was sooo good with the first movie i love the twilight franchise and i think new moon wasnt so good as the first movie hopefully the eclipse will meet the books expectations so i think she should direct the last movie

Catherine was the best director ever to do this we should all be grateful. She is the reason their ever was a movie.

i SAW THE MOVIE FIRST THEN READ THE BOOK. AS A 5O SOMETHING WOMAN i LOVED THE MOVIE. iT WAS A VERY SENSUAL MOVIE. The chemistry between the two stars was great.Facial expressions were awesome. The soundtrack is wild and I loved all of the characters. Granted it may not have been the best movie ever but I bought it and everyone to whom I have showed it to has loved it. I hope the new director does a good job if not better than Catherine did. With the decision to choose Pattinson and Stewart as the two leads makes her a good director. My only complaint was the makeup job on Rob. It was sometimes too noticable. And that crummy wig Jacob Black had on. With Rob not being in this next movie as much, may have a big impact on the attendance. I know I won't be so anxious to see it.

that guy she has a arcutecual backround so she can draw and visulize what she's going to do. that can help the actors and actresses. I think she did a goo job on Twilight so the is#$%*ed up

the movies were horrible.
I read the books first, they were amazing the movie wuz horrible!! So in a way, they r doing a good thing firing catherine, unless the next mvie is even worse than this one...The movie isn't close to the book AT FRCKN ALL! She could've tried much harder and maybe thought about what the rest of her "crew' wanted as well. Wutevr... Bye Bye Catherine Hardwicke, see ya nvr.

well... as good as a movie twilight was it could've used more of the books personal touches. i believe the real reason she got the boot was because many people can agree she left out alot of parts that in my opinion could've made the movie better. i mean she had to expect this when you get involved with twilight you have to be involved with twilight. when i heard i was sad because would if rob and kristen don't come back i loved their performance and the chemistry was amazing she needs to get a co-director not leave!

firing catherine is a big loss for the summit, why would they fire catherine? she had been a very good director of twilight,, it is not about that catherine and the summit had a different visions but it is about how catherine had caught the eyes and the feelings of the young adults in directing the movie twilight..I as a 11 year old girl, i felt the influence in watching it,,,, catherine had make a goodjob,,, she had direct it so good and she even make the movie conquered the whole world and minds of all young adults..finding a director that will do a better job than catherine had dOne is a difficult one...the filipinos, the americans the chinese, japanese etc. they all liked what ceatherine had did... for the summit...YOU SHOULD START PRAYING THAT YOU'LL FIND SOMEONE WHO'S BETTER THAN CATHERINE HAD DONE. I'LL BE WATCHING THE NEW MOON AND KNOW IF IT'S STILL GOOD HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES.

I agreee is the best new about the movies!! I´M SOOOOOOO HAPPY!....

I thought the movie was great! Look how much money it made in like 3 weeks. The books I know say more and have more detail, but you can't fit that into a movie. That's why you have actors so they can be the characters. I think the movie summed up the book. Plus the budget was about 40 million and I think the special effects were great. You people act like it's supposed to have all these great special effects. GET OVER IT! It's just the first movie anyway and I think as long as they don't change the cast it will be GREAT!

unreal...i feel terrible for her. i wonder what the real REAL reason is...

God this is such a cutthroat business...

I still believe in Catherine's capabilities as a director for New Moon. She obviously loves the Twilight Saga and this passion showed in the way she casted and directed the movie. Much thought and love went into the process and it was not simply a job for her. I believe though that something should be done about the screenplay. Twilight is a 498 page book and I can't understand why they had to invent certain scenes, like that school trip to the compost facility and the forest scenes where Edward and Bella were getting to know each other better. There were many many memorable scenes, moments and lines in the book that they could have used. For one, I expected so much more from the meadow scene. In the movie, it was like they just skimmed through it. How could they do this when this was for me one of the highlights of the book. Such a great disappointment there. I hope Summit realizes that staying true to the book is the ONLY way to go. An example of a movie adapted from a book that turned out equally as good as the book is The Godfather. I watched the movie first and read the book after. The book simply illuminated the movie more. It gave an in depth idea and background of the different characters in the movie. With Twilight, for those who will read the book after watching the movie, the reaction is likely going to be "Huh?! This is not quite it." So Summit, listen up and stay true. If New Moon doesn't turn out right, you can forget all about Eclipse because instead of going to watch the movie, I'll just hunker down and read the books all over again, and still relish it every time.

I hope summit thought this through. With the budget Hardwicke had to deal with, she could have done worse. She made twilight a good film. She did cast the right actors, did a great job with the fight scenes, though some special effects were off, again, because of the tight budget, she did not disappoint the readers. I wonder what the cast think of the bad news.

Oh my goodness,That is the greatest news. I was in awe about how bad the movie turned out. I know that books are always way better, but cmon. A book is almost a script within itself... How could you mess it up so badly?!! The key parts of the book were poorly played out in the movie, and some of them completly left out. Hope the next one will be worth watching!! Get someone Good. And I am a women so nothing against that!!LOL.

I was deeply disappointed that the movie deviated so much from the book. The meadow scene which I believe was so pivotal to the love story was so different. I got confused after watching the movie that I had to re-read the book again to get the story right. The movie also failed to bring out the emotions (infatuation, deep love, and suffering) of Bella and Edward. It also failed to bring out the protectiveness of the whole Cullen family towards Bella ( Emmett during the escape, Alice and Jasper in the hotel, etc.). If I did not read the book, I would not know this part.

How do you guys feel about katheyn Bigelow or Len Wiseman

I could not be happier with this announcement! I actually screamed when I saw the news headline pop up on my screen. Although she did good casting, the movie suffered so much from her hand held shots and choppy cuts. This series deserves a higher-caliber director.

Not surprised about this. She did do a good job casting Kristen and Robert. However, the young actor playing Jacob will not do in the sequel. Jacob will need to have the physical looks as far as competition for Edward and needs to be much taller. Catherine should have thought ahead on that. Also, Kristen is a superior young actor and you can see it in her interaction with pro Billy Burke. Pattinson needs to step up his game with Kristen and hopefully a new director can make that happen

Sadly, money speaks and Summit is heeding its call. Catherine and her creative force is collateral to this decision.

My love for the saga has seriously deflated with this news. One of the main reasons I was so excited for the movie, and so happy with its results, was because Catherine was directing. I was a fan of Lords of Dogtown and knew she had a knack for making beautiful stories out of youth culture.

Most of the cast took on the job because Catherine was directing. Catherine basically cast Kristin in the role. And Kristin cast Rob.

When Twilight was in production, this was still an indie movie. No one realized the huge expectations that were going to be thrust on it upon release . Now that it’s reached blockbuster status, they are — yes, I hate this term, but it’s so appropriate — SELLING OUT.

I am totally disappointed that Catherine is not directing New Moon. There will be a serious loss of heart in the next movie, people. Heart. Passion. You know, like the beating of blood in Bella’s heart. The next movie will be a vampire flick alright, devoid of pumping blood and passion. It’ll be just another Hollywood blockbuster. Yawn.

Maybe the new director will use a real native american to play Jacob in the movie.
A disgrace to use a fake one!

I am curious what the actors have to say - especially Pattinson & Stewart , who were attracted to the project becasue Hardwicke was directing.
I do hope Summit know what they are doing - if preparation time was the issue, what will an entirely new director who will have even less time to prepare now be able to produce. Would the new director have been able to make a better Twilight movie with such a miniscule budget?
Whoever this new director is, a prerequisite will be to have passion for the story as Hardwicke does.
I'm not so sure that this is a wise decision...

Uh, why does Finke think it would be a scandal to replace Hardwicke with a male again? Are women supposed to get preferential treatment simply because of their gender? I for one, am for the eradication, not encouragement, of sexism in Hollywood.
How about replacing her with a more skilled director? Or a director that is willing to work with others? Who cares what genitals they have?

i just hope they don't make new moon into an action flick with way too much cg just so they can get more boys to come. it's bella's story and needs to be directed with that in mind.

Difficult and irrational? Then why does Michael Bay keep getting hired? Pleeeeeeeease. Enough with
the double standard.

 

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