December 8, 2008 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | December 8, 2008 |


Deadline Hollywood’s Nikke Finke, who always has her tongue on the balls of Hollywood, broke word over the weekend (and Variety subsequently confirmed, without sourcing — again) that Catherine Hardwicke was out as director of future Twilight sequels. Apparently, Hardwicke and Summit butted heads through production of Twilight, probably because Summit wanted a shitty movie and Hardwicke did not. Guess who won? Finke quotes anonymous insiders who claimed that the editor and cinematographer actually saved Twilight, or eschewed quality in favor of box-office appeal.

The PR versions of the truth are a little more sketchy: Summit claimed that negotiations stalled, specifically over creative differences — the second book, New Moon, focuses more on werewolves and Bella Swan’s depression, while Summit naturally wanted a more upbeat, vampirecentric movie which would allow Robert Pattinson some more screen time. Hardwicke, meanwhile, seems to be claiming that her schedule conflicted and that she wanted more prep time — they’re currently aiming for a late 2009 release.

The juiciness from Finke reads:

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…” (Indeed, Joe Roth and Sony kept saying those things about Julie Taymor on Across The Universe. Yet she made a cult classic and is now directing Marvel/Sony’s Spider-Man for Broadway.) From another of my sources, “Summit didn’t like her. They’re saying the DP [director of photography] Elliot Davis is the one responsible for the film’s sumptuous visual look, that the editor Nancy Richardson had to save the film in post-production, and Summit thought Hardwicke’s [CAA] agent Beth Swofford was alternately ineffectual and hysterical [when it came to controlling her client].”

Personally, I’m not sure how to view this. I think that Catherine Hardwicke is a fairly talented director, as demonstrated in Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown. I thought she was slumming it, creatively, for Twilight, and that she deserves better projects. But on the other hand, fuck Summit and fuck Twilight for taking out the only reasonable talented element in the entire production.

It’s also yet another blow to female directors, only two (Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers) have ever had two or more movies make $60 million or more at the box-office. This won’t help Hardwicke’s cause. But if the second book does plan on focusing on the Bella Swan’s extended depression, here’s a suggestion for director: Sofia Coppola. And the great thing about hiring her is that all of the characters would probably die in the end!

bellacullen.jpg
How Do You Thank the Most Successful Female Director of All Time? You (Sh*t)can Her.

Another Reason to Loathe Twilight / Dustin Rowles

Trade News | December 8, 2008 | Comments ()



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