Word comes from Deadline Hollywood Daily, who reports:
I've confirmed that Summit Entertainment is taking Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke off the sequel in this big new franchise. No doubt my posting this will speed up the studio's announcement, and Summit will surely try to spin this as all going down amicably.... The word from inside Summit is that Hardwicke, the acclaimed Thirteen director, "was 'difficult' and 'irrational' during the making of Twilight," one insider explains to me. "That doesn't mean anything when you're talking about a filmmaker because they all are, but still..."
The news is somewhat shocking and we're waiting for official word from Summit Entertainment. Matt and I [Andrew of TwilightSource.com] saw Catherine Hardwicke on our flight to London this past Monday and she appeared to be in great spirits. Based on her mood a week ago, I would think this decision was just recently made.
Summit has confirmed that Catherine Hardwicke will no longer be directing New Moon.
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.”
My commentary: The series has just lost its consistency which is what plagued Harry Potter once Prisoner of Azkaban came out. New Moon will be a whole different movie than Twilight was no matter how close the next director tries to stay true to the first film because directors are just too different. Just think about the Harry Potter series. Each director as a pretty distinct style, especially Prisoner of Azkaban (directed by Alfonzo Cauron) which makes each film feel disconnected. Then you have series like Lord of the Rings or The Matrix that have consistency in direction and feel like a whole series rather than something like Harry Potter and now Twilight.
Summit is dropping the ball already. I'm not saying New Moon won't be good, hell it might be better under a new director, I just hope it still is a female director. It just will be and feel very different and inconsistent.