As hinted at two weeks ago and confirmed Sunday, director Catherine Hardwicke is done with the Twilight franchise, leaving a giant "Help Wanted" sign around the blockbuster's swoony, more wolfy sequel New Moon barely a year before its studio hopes to rush it into theaters. No problem, though — after a helpful consultation with Defamer HR, producers should be able to lock up a qualified helmer by the end of the business day.
Twilight's record-breaking opening gross was downgraded to a measly $69.6 million on Monday, which nevertheless failed to deter Summit Entertainment from officially nudging the sequel, New Moon, into the pre-production queue. That was the easy part, though; paying its young stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart a reported $12 million apiece for the second film (and possibly a third) — and locking in director Catherine Hardwicke for millions more — is where the mess might arise.Twilight's budget was only $37 million (plus at least that much in marketing), which should have Summit well in the black by the middle of next month. Stewart and Pattinson came cheap, earning about $2 million each for their roles as vampire Edward Cullen and his dewy teen love interest Bella Swan. Alas, those days are over: Looking ahead, one rumor has the studio adapting New Moon and Eclipse — the second and third novels in Stephenie Meyer's wholesome, bestselling bloodsucker franchise — simultaneously, probably at a combined budget pushing $160 million. Anything to improve the FX, we suppose (there are werewolves in the next one), and anything to make reading New Moon worth it for poor Stewart. Their pricey return all but assured, Summit will move on to Hardwicke, who wasted little time and leverage last weekend pulling Favreau-ish media stunts about her doing Twilight's follow-ups right:
Teen vampire romance Twilight is finally yours to enjoy in theaters, and one day later, it's already the best debut for a female director ever. The first numbers indicate the film has made $32.7 million so far, and online ticket purchases haven't been this hot since The Dark Knight. The film will have doubled its miniscule budget by the time the weekend is over, but if you're not a fan of the books, is it worth getting good with Twilight? We review the most important film of this or any other generation:
At a LAFF panel on Sunday, filmmaker Mike White was discussing the vagaries of screenwriting with fellow directors Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Twilight) and Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl), trying to narrow the enduring creative gap between an indie like The Good Girl and a studio picture like the 2003 Jack Black vehicle School of Rock. "I actually just completed a draft of what's potentially the sequel, and I'm still, like, crying as I'm writing the script," he said. "I try to come at it from a personal place—"
As we noted last week, the highly anticipated Twilight franchise appears to be far steamier and sexier than the books’ tween fans may have expected. And a profile on the film in yesterday’s LAT suggests the series’ author Stephenie Meyer may be just as surprised. Described by the article's author as "chaste," the Mormon mother of three sounds like the near opposite of director and "troubled-teen expert" Catherine Hardwicke. But as the article reveals, no matter how hot and bothered we felt after watching the teaser trailer, the actual action on set wasn't putting any of its gorgeous cast members in the mood:
After only three days, the teaser trailer for Twilight — that highly anticipated franchise initially classified as the "new Harry Potter" — racked up more than two million views on the film's MySpace page. As industry insiders have noted, the vampire flick may break the record of 4.1 million first week views set by Indy 4 earlier this year. But after viewing Twilight's trailer for ourselves, we couldn't care less about records or the fate of Indiana What's His Name. Why? The folks at Summit Entertainment managed to create excitement (and widespread teen titillation) not by appealing to HP dorks or Narnia obsessives, but rather by going the Gossip Girl route and putting together an ensemble cast comprised of barely known and ridiculously hot actors. Take a gander at what appears to be a fantastical and surprisingly romantic Tim Burton-esque world after the jump.