Twilight 2 Gets a New Director, Crappy Script

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Director Catherine Hardwicke heroically rescued the Twilight movie from the icy death grip of Stephenie Meyer's ham-fisted prose, scoring not-terrible reviews and propelling the film to a $70 million opening weekend, the highest-ever for a female director — and what does she get? Fired! Vulture buddy Nikki Finke reports that Hardwicke has been canned by Summit Entertainment, who are currently looking for a new director to helm the two announced Twilight sequels.

Why? It mostly seems like Hardwicke was unwilling to do a rush job on a movie the studio needs to put out really really fast, before its fans grow up and discover how lame abstinence is. A statement released by the studio claims that "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." Summit Entertainment CEO Rob Friedman told Finke last night that "Catherine and Summit have agreed to part ways on the sequel because our visions are different," with a "studio insider" adding that "Hardwicke was 'difficult' and 'irrational' during the making of Twilight… 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."

Variety says a major sticking point between Hardwicke and Summit was how to adapt New Moon, the second Twilight novel, which focuses more on werewolves than vampires (in the book, Bella Swan's vampire boyfriend leaves her). Understandably, the studio wanted to beef up the screen time of Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and a draft of the screenplay purportedly found a way to do this, but Hardwicke "simply wasn't willing to jam this movie with a script that still needed months of development."

It's hard to say exactly how many of those rioting Twilight fans saw the movie because of its director, but Hardwicke was instrumental in the casting of its two now-famous leads and did manage to drastically improve on Meyer's annoying book (mostly by leaving things out). If Summit forges ahead, as planned, with a new director and a crappy script that's not yet ready, you can probably look forward to our slideshow of 28 reasons why New Moon the book is better than New Moon the movie.

Hardwicke Fired Off 'Twilight' Franchise [Deadline Hollywood Daily]
No Hardwicke for 'Twilight' sequel [Variety]

It's hard to say exactly how many of those rioting Twilight fans saw the movie because of its director, but Hardwicke was instrumental in the casting of its two now-famous leads and did manage to drastically improve on Meyer's annoying book (mostly by leaving things out). If Summit forges ahead, as planned, with a new director and a crappy script that's not yet ready, you can probably look forward to our slideshow of 28 reasons why New Moon the book is better than New Moon the movie.