LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke won’t shoot the second picture in the fledgling vampire franchise.
Hardwicke had until recently been thought a candidate to direct the sequel, titled “New Moon,” but word began to circulate in the industry that her relationship with series producer Summit Entertainment has not always been smooth.
On Sunday, Summit confirmed that Hardwicke would not direct the film, saying in a statement that its plans to release the film in late 2009 or early 2010 did not mesh with Hardwicke’s required prep time.
The picture, whose start date has not yet been set, will nontheless reunite writer Melissa Rosenberg and actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Summit has not named a new director, but it is likely to want to move relatively quickly on the sequel after the original earned nearly $139 million in three weeks of release.
Hardwicke had initially been considered a bold choice for “Twilight.” She made her name with indie breakout “Thirteen” and also directed the period religious tale “The Nativity Story.” The combination proved winning, though, as the midrange-budgeted “Twilight” became one of the fall’s biggest hits.
“New Moon” is the second installment in Stephenie Meyer’s four-book series and also centers on vampires in a small town in Washington state, this time with a more prominent role given to a teenage werewolf.