Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the recent hit Twilight, has officially announced they will be moving ahead with the sequel, New Moon, without director Catherine Hardwicke. From Variety:
Summit Entertainment has wasted no time moving ahead with the next installment in Stephenie Meyer's bestselling "Twilight" series, "New Moon." But in an unusual move after the successful launch of a franchise that has already generated $138.6 million, the upstart distrib is not bringing director Catherine Hardwicke back to direct the 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. A former production designer, Hardwicke wanted more prep time.
"Twilight" scripter Melissa Rosenberg handed in 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 formally passed on the film Saturday.
Wow, Summit is acting as if Twilight had questionable production values and tepid reviews and its success was based entirely on its prior name value and had nothing to do with the satisfactory-at-best direction. Who's going to repeatedly tell vampire boyfriend to stare intensely now?