Summit Entertainment has announced that Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is leaving the franchise and will not be directing the sequel, New Moon (scheduled for release sometime between the end of 2009 and early 2010).
While the joint press release, read it in full after the jump, reveals that the decision was made due to timing issues with Hardwicke, Nikki Finke of DeadlineHollywoodDaily reports that Hardwicke was “difficult” and “irrational” during the making of the film, with one of her contacts saying:
“Summit didn’t like her. They’re saying the DP [director of photography] Elliot Davis is the one responsible for the film’s sumptuous visual look, that the editor Nancy Richardson had to save the film in post-production, and Summit thought Hardwicke’s [CAA] agent Beth Swofford was alternately ineffectual and hysterical.”
Well, that may have been all true, but I don’t see why they make the announcement now in the middle of the European press tour, a tour in which Hardwicke is–and will continue–participating in.
The full release follows after the jump.
SUMMIT BEGINS SEARCH FOR NEW MOON DIRECTOR
Los Angeles, CA, December 7, 2008 – 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 Erik Feig, Summit’s President of Production. “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.”