After earlier this week announcing that TWILIGHT director Catherine Hardwicke (THIRTEEN, LORDS OF DOGTOWN) would not be returning to direct the sequel NEW MOON, Summit Entertainment has today released the name of who will instead be helming it . . .
Chris Weitz, whose versatile filmography includes such films as AMERICAN PIE and ABOUT A BOY, both of which were co-directed by his brother Paul. (Both were also nominated for best screenplay on the latter). Weitz' first solo effort was last Christmas' THE GOLDEN COMPASS, which was a huge disappointment in the States (and well as a major contribution to the demise of New Line Pictures) but an international hit.
TWILIGHT is the first film based on a series of incredibly popular young adult novels (more specifically teen girls). Since its record breaking U.S. opening of 70 million dollars a few weeks ago the film has already gone on to gross over $140 million dollars.
Usually with a film this successful its a given that the studio will do pretty anything to secure that same director for a sequel. But reports of Hardwicke repeatedly clashing with Summit during production have obviously put the kibosh on that. Anonymous sources have also been quoted in saying that it was the film's editor and cinematographer who saved TWILIGHT after her mishandling of the project.
In contrast its been indicated that Weitz has a solid relationship with Summit's top brass; he's considered easy to work with and has experience with special effects. "He's the quality-of-life-choice," says one source.
While Summit insists "we have not yet signed Chris Weitz to do New Moon," and Weitz's agency says no deal has been signed, other sources say the deal is imminent, and that Summit has stopped negotiations with other potential Moon directors.
Summit had planned to announce this hiring decision on Sunday, Dec. 14, and could have Weitz in Vancouver, B.C. as early as Monday to start pre-production on the film.
Bad moon descending . . .
New Moon Rising