Twilight Sequel: New Moon Will Not Be Directed by Hardwicke


Dec 8, 2008–Summit Entertainment has greenlit the next chapter in Stephenie Meyer's bestselling “Twilight” series, “New Moon.”  Though the first film made over $138.6 million, the company has decided not to hire director Catherine Hardwicke for the nex picture.

Summit and Hardwicke cite Summit's wish to rush the movie into production as one reason for their split. Summit wants to release the picture, which will demand substantial CGI work, by the end of 2009 or the start of 2010; Hardwicke wanted more prep time.

“Twilight” scripter Melissa Rosenberg submitted a draft of “New Moon” the weekend that “Twilight” opened. Hardwicke wanted more time to work on it; Summit announced it was going ahead with “New Moon” on November 22, with no director attached. Negotiations lasted two weeks before Hardwicke passed on the film.

“Twilight” is still going strong as the director and cast promote it overseas; it came in second this weekend with $13.2 million, grossing a total $138.6 million.

There were also artistic differences between Summit and Hardwicke about the next installment, such as the narrative focus. The second book deals with giant werewolves rather than vampires, as well as the long depression of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), after her vampire lover (Rob Pattinson) leaves her. One issue was how to get more of teen heartthrob Pattinson into the film. (Rosenberg has figured out a device to achieve this.) 

“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 production prexy 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.”