Catherine Hardwicke Off Twilight Sequel

No New Moon for the director

Despite the fact that Twilight is riding high at the US box office, news has broken that the movie’s director, Catherine Hardwicke, will not be returning to direct the sequel, New Moon.

Despite initial reports suggesting that Hardwicke had been removed from the project by Summit Entertainment, a joint statement from the director and the distributor made it clear tonight that the decision had been Hardwicke’s, who had concerns about Summit’s plan to release New Moon, with its detailed CG work, at the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010.

"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."

That it may be, but it’s also a story that poses many problems to any director hoping to step into Hardwicke’s shoes: a general lack of Robert Pattinson’s vampire, Edward, for one. An emphasis on werewolves, for another, as Bella Swan’s friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) discovers his true destiny. And a large, not terribly cinematic swathe of Stephenie Meyer’s novel in which Bella (Kristen Stewart) basically pines for Edward.

Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, who wrote Twilight, handed in her draft of New Moon on the same weekend when Twilight opened to almost $70 million. It is believed that Rosenberg had solved many of the problems posed by the novel, and Summit were keen to press on with getting the sequel into production like, yesterday.

Hardwicke, though, wanted more time to prep the film and today, after two weeks of intense negotiations, things finally came to a head when she passed. Summit is now seeking a new director to step into her shoes asap.

So, Twilight fans – are you upset by this? Or do you think that New Moon might fare better with a new vision at the helm? If so, who would you like to see direct the sequel? Answers below…