When Summit Entertainment surpisingly canned Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke from New Moon in favor of Chris Weitz, who just so happens to be a penis-having dude, many predicted that the franchise would take a disappointing turn. Aside from the fact that the second entry in the four-part Twilight franchise features very little of Edward Cullen, that sparkle-chested hunk of lustful vampire meat, many feared that Weitz would not be able to tap into that same sort of “crazy in love” teenage-girl vibe that Hardwicke did so successfully on the first go-round. And now, with the nationwide release of New Moon less than twelve hours away (ZOMG you guys!), not only are prominent film critics like Roger Ebert and Kenneth Turan trashing his work, but Weitz himself has revealed that he might just trade in his director’s chair for some Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax and a surfboard.
Weitz has been on the defensive with this movie ever since the film’s first trailer came out in May, which was when people first began railing on him for the general crappiness of his cartoony CGI werewolves. However, he recently conducted an interview with MovieMaker magazine that seems to indicate that he’s just not cut out to make big-budget Hollywood blockbusters. When asked what he’d like to tackle now that New Moon is in the can, Weitz replied, “I’d really like to read some books,” before adding, “You know, it sounds ridiculous, but I’d really like to be a better surfer. I’d like to learn to speak Spanish fluently; I’d like to travel around, live in Italy; I’d like to learn kung fu… It’s nice to make movies, but it’s also really hard.”
Heck, we’d probably say the exact same thing if we read the following reviews:
“Director Chris Weitz proves that The Golden Compass was no fluke: He really is a non-master of action. His CGI werewolves, who look like they were designed by the animatronics crew at Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree, go at it in about three semi-OK bouts.”—Kyle Smith, New York Post
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon takes the tepid achievement of Twilight (2008), guts it, and leaves it for undead. You know you’re in trouble with a sequel when the word of mouth advises you to see the first movie twice instead. […] Since they know it all and we know all, sitting through this experience is like driving a pickup in low gear though a sullen sea of Brylcreem.”—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“A smooth professional whose credits include such adaptations as The Golden Compass and About a Boy, Weitz makes the vampire trains of Melissa Rosenberg’s capable script run on time, but he almost seems too rational a director for this kind of project. This lack of animating madness combined with the novel’s demands give much of New Moon a marking time quality.”—Ken Turan, Los Angeles Times
“Firing Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke was a lousy idea, and so was getting Chris Weitz to take her place. I don’t know what tricks Hardwicke used to make Twilight play as well as it did, but I do know that Weitz isn’t nearly as good with this kind of material as she was. Twilight is to New Moon as Star Wars is to Return of the Jedi, or even The Phantom Menace. I mean, it really blows.”—Vulture hero Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere
‘New Moon’ director says he might hang it up [In Contention]