Official Summit Statement Regarding ‘New Moon’ and Catherine Hardwicke, including Hardwicke's own statement: "I am sorry that due to timing I will not have the opportunity to direct New Moon. 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." Nikki Finke, on the other hand, claims that insiders told her Hardwicke was "was 'difficult' and 'irrational,'" though adding in an update,
Summit Entertainment Co-Chairman/CEO Rob Friedman just phoned me to add: "Catherine and Summit have agreed to part ways on the sequel because our visions are different." The start-up studio's hastily prepared statement (below) notes: "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."I do wonder to what extent sexism is involved. One of the words I heard thrown around was "hysterical"--although in reference to Hardwicke's agent, I think--and "hysteria" has a particularly feminine subtext, if you know the origin of the word. The more I hear about it, though, I'm really starting to think it's about Catherine Hardwicke wanting a reasonable amount of money and time to put out an effects-heavier sequel, and Summit
snowwhite2421 also points out that Hardwicke's inexperience with effects--which she mentioned publicly--may be what got her fired: "From a financial angle, that would have been a nightmare. Directors come in asking for something totally unrealistic and stupid because they have no idea what they are talking about, and the amount of time it usually takes to explain to them what IS possible, go back and forth on boards/concepts, finally come to a decision, create the product, find out you have to redo it, redo it, find out they hate that too, etc etc etc... that's just a spiraling money drain."
Here's the thing, though, Twilight fans: I know you're getting all starry-eyed about the possibilities, but Summit's not going to get a big-name director. They're not. You know why? Because one of the issues, as mentioned above, is the budget--they want to keep it down, and Hardwicke wanted more money for effects. They're not going to be able to get a bigger director than Hardwicke for less money.
Here's another reason: the movie starts filming in four months. That means that every day they dick around looking for a director is another day that director doesn't get to prepare. What director is going to have an open schedule right now? And I mean RIGHT NOW. To sign on the dotted line TODAY and start prep immediately? To sign onto a new, unfamiliar project where they only get four months' prep? It's not going to be a big-name director. It's going to be someone who needs the Twilight exposure more than Twilight needs him/her and is willing to do it on the cheap. I'm sorry, kids, but you're not getting Sofia Coppola or Joe Wright--two wish-list names I've seen fans throwing around--and you're sure as hell not getting Peter Jackson, because of all the things he can do, working cheap is not one of them. And I'm not even touching the issue of whether any of these people would want to be associated with Twilight.
Here's a thought, though: Katja von Garnier. Female, so Summit won't get its ass kicked in the media for dumping Hardwicke for a man; did Blood and Chocolate (IMDB user comment: "Mediocrity at its finest"), so has experience with
Or, as lesbiassparrow suggested, since the cinematographer (and the editor) are said to have "saved" the first movie, that might be an option: "Cheap, easily controlled, and probably more available." That would be Elliot Davis, and while he seems to be Hardwicke's longtime collaborator (as in, he might feel loyal to her and not want to take the job she was fired from), he would at least be familiar with the production of the first movie. And the editor was Nancy Richardson--another Hardwicke collaborator (again: possible loyalty), although also female, which would be a PR bonus for Summit. And both Davis and Richardson were around for the first production and would be aware of the psychological nuance Hardwicke was trying to bring to the "normal people" scenes, as well as the direction Stewart and Pattinson wanted to take their characters.
Again, I'm not talking in terms of who they should get, or whether sexism, reverse or otherwise, should come into play here; I'm talking about the kind of business logic that might go into this decision.
BREAKING NEWS: THEY'RE GOING TO FILM THE TWO SEQUELS BACK TO BACK? STARTING IN MARCH? And they have NO DIRECTOR, ONE draft of New Moon, and NO Eclipse script? Jesus Holy Christ. I can't even--I can't even imagine this. We will be telling our grandchildren about a trainwreck of this magnitude.