Summit “Moons” Twilight-director Hardwicke

Gossip-monger Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily confirms the rumors that TWILIGHT-director Catherine Hardwicke will not be back for the sequel NEW MOON.

Summit Entertainment Co-Chairman/CEO Rob Friedman just phoned me to add: “Catherine and Summit have agreed to part ways on the sequel because our visions are different.” The start-up studio’s hastily prepared statement (below) notes: “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.”

Finke poins out the awkwardness of the timing: Hardwicke and the cast are in the middle of their European promotional tour for the film; inevitably, questions from the press will now focus on why she was booted off the sequel, and no amount of spin about an amicable parting of the ways will sound convincing.

The rest of the article speculates on the reasons for Hardwicke’s dismissal. She was allegedly “difficult” – but when has that been enough to outweigh blockbuster success? The film has earned well over $100-million; Summit should be able to tolerate a little difficulty in exchange for that kind of coin. Finke points out:

(Joe Roth and Sony kept saying that about Julie Taymor on Across The Universe. Yet she made a cult classic and is now directing Marvel/Sony’s Spider-Man for Broadway.) But an outside source also informs me, “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. It certainly demonstrates, while CAA agents boast of their vast influence, how little clout and muscle they actually have, or are willing to use, to protect their artists.”

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

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