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Chris Weitz Directing Twilight's New Moon Sequel

by
December 13, 2008
Source: Deadline Hollywood

Chris Weitz

After news hit a week ago that director Catherine Hardwicke wouldn't return for Summit's two Twilight sequels, fans were anxiously questioning who might best be able to fill her shoes. Well, Deadline Hollywood confirms that the early rumors were right - Chris Weitz, of the failed Golden Compass film, has officially signed on to direct New Moon, the second Twilight book in Stephenie Meyer's series. Apparently the offer went to Weitz "in part because he's a longtime pal of Summit's president of production." Now it all makes sense. And ever since Golden Compass failed miserably, Weitz has been somewhat off the radar.

In case you might've forgotten, New Moon was greenlit the weekend that Twilight opened to the tune of $70 million. Since then, however, all sorts of dirty behind-the-scenes stories and rumors have come out about things like the salary for the film's two stars and obviously Hardwicke's supposed "fights" with the studio. Considering I don't care much about the Twilight franchise, I'm not that invested in who thy get as a director. And if what happened to Golden Compass is any indication, than I hope that Chris Weitz also destroys this franchise as well. Sorry all you Twilight fans, but I don't want to see any more sequels.

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  • Evan
    oh eff
  • Sojourner
    Ouch...well I guess that kills it.. Should I do a victory dance now or later?
  • darrin
    the two polar bears that fought in golden compass was great, it wasn't the best iv'e seen. So the franchise should be in safe hands. although i don't really care about those films
  • Leo
    It's so easy to blame Compass's box office failure on Chris. But truth be told, he made a solid adaptation of a children's book and most avid fans of the series (myself included) liked the film. I have to say I didn't love it. But nevertheless it was a worthy first chapter. Maybe if the church and media hadn't made such a fuss about the movie's atheist content (completely missing from the film) there would have been a bigger audience turnout, after all if made over 300 million overseas. I guess most fans for those particular books reside overseas anyhow.
  • Lady Aerin
    I would have found Golden Compass perfectly acceptable as a two-hour pilot for a miniseries or even full TV show. It just didn't feel like a complete movie. That may not be Weitz's fault, though I feel I can safely blame him for that obnoxious little ferret, whose only lines seemed to be whining, "Lyra, no!", and Nicole Kidman's wooden performance might fall at his feet as well. I might give it another watch and see if I feel any differently about it; I bought the DVD for my fiancé as an anniversary gift since it was what we saw on our first date, but we never really intended to watch it again.
  • George
    Weitz is a great choice and his Director's cut of Golden Compass was most likely brilliant. But this was just one of those rare instances in Hollywood where the executives get soooooo nervous and paranoid that they take over during the end of post and have a film completely re-edited so as to make it dumby-proof and compatible to an expected sequel. What we got was a movie that had scenes cut differently, the order of events switched around, a voice over narration intro, as well as an entire climactic shocking ending that was filmed but eliminated from the final theatrical cut. I guess the pressure to live up to the Lord of the Rings was so heated that executives at New Line just had to shoot themselves in the feet.
  • http://www.williammize.com William Mize
    I'll jump in and defend Weitz AND The Golden Compass. As others have said, there was some strife between Weitz and the studio, and it's pretty well known that what we saw on the screen was NOT Weitz' vision for the complete movie. Personally, I'd love for the studios to unhandcuff him and allow him to release a Director's Cut of ...Compass and also let him do the next two books ON HIS OWN TERMS. While I'll never see Twilight nor Full Moon, I do wish Weitz success, as it could lead to the above.
  • dan
    first, what do you consider a flop? GC made 100 mil in the states and 400 mil worldwide. hmmmm......i'll take half a BILLION DOLLARS for a "flop" any day. i also liked GC. i hoped the other 2 movies get made, but we'll see i guess. other than that, i couldn't care less about twilight or full moon or any other "bubble gum" movies made from teen books.
  • Film Fan
    Oh for FUCK sake! I'm so tired of people blaming Weiz for "Compass" underperforming in the U.S. He delivered a very solid, and extremely well done (what he thought) first chapter of a trilogy. It was those religious ASSHOLES who ruinded the movie's chances here with all their negative comments. Without even seeing the fucking film! They definitely scared most parents away from taking their kids. The smarter people in the rest of the world ignored these idiots. It's grossed 70M in America, and 302M in the rest of the world. Total, 372M. And I'm furious at Warners for not greenlighting the rest of the series. Weiz is a terrific director IMO. "About a Boy" is one of my Top favorite films of all-time. And I thought "The Golden Compass" was the best fantasy film I've seen since "The Lord of the Rings" series.
  • http://www.johndemetry.blogspot.com John Demetry
    According to one studio exec: “You’d have to have a very high standard for art, hate the movie business, and hate money to walk off this sequel.” So with Weitz, they get the hack they wanted! The movie is doomed, indeed, to not satisfy any "standard for art." Mabye it's a good thing Taylor Lautner might be able to skip out on this dud. (Although the obvious move would be to have Taylor play Jacob pre-werewolf and Steven Strait play Jacob post-werewolf. But I don't want either of those stellar actors sullied by Weitz. They should play brothers in a Catherine Hardwicke movie.)
  • Film Fan
    Weitz is NOT a hack! I wouldn't pick him for the "Twilight" sequel, because of his style. But I'll reserve final judgement until I see it.
  • Bryanmakeup
    I was sorry to hear that Cathrine was out of the picture. But I was hoping they would stay with a female director. The whole point of the Twilight series is to put a different spin on vampire lore. It's a love story first, and what makes it tragic is that he's a vampire and she will one day die. Having a guy direct it means a greater chance that it will turn into a blood fest with cheesy action scenes. And the story will get lost. I enjoyed Twilight because it was different. I hope he can tap into his inner little girl and not suck the life out of it!
  • Secret-Asian-Man!!
    Well we know where you stand- right next to the talking polar bear in The Golden Compass.
  • Jennie
    Obviously the controversy had a role in the failure of The Golden Compass, but nonetheless, I felt that the movie was very poor. I left the movie incredibly unsatisfied; there was simply no magic on the screen that I felt in the book. True, certain scenes were great, such as the battle at Bolvangar, but overall, it felt too commercialized and didn't connect with me. Shame, the cast was wonderful.
  • Film Fan
    Jennie, with all due respect, what else did you want? I thought the magic was spilling off the screen. The daemons, the witches, the bears and on and on. Fantastic stuff for a fantasy film. I read the books too and like them and the film equally. I'm sure if I saw this as a kid, I would have been ten times as thrilled. You mention the cast. Yes, it was perfect. The little girl who played Lyra knocked my socks off. She just nailed that part. And Nicole was very effective Mrs. Coulter. It was also a stunning movie visually.
  • Hyacinth
    #12 Now that is just sexist and you know it. To say that a man can't direct a romance as good as a woman can is like saying a woman can't direct an action film as well as a man can. I thought the whole idea behind equal opportunities was to get rid of thinking like that. And for your information, some of the greatest love stories of all time were made/directed by a man. Michael Curtiz directed Casablanca, and we all know how wonderful that movie was. Joe Wright directed the tearjerking masterpiece Atonement as well as Pride and Prejudice and you can hardly call those cheesy action films. Baz Luhrmann directed some of the greatest epic love stories of our time (Australia, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge)! Richard Curtis wrote and directed Love Actually and it was hardly an action packed movie! Stop discriminating against gender! No amount of estrogen will save New Moon. Believe me.
  • Hyacinth
    PS: It is not a matter of gender. Talent is what matters. If Weitz has talent, that remains to be seen. But the fact that Hardwicke is female doesn't even begin to touch on how effectively she directed a film. To tell you honestly, I think Hardwicke's a hack who needs to learn more before she gets behind the camera again. She made a bad movie. Deal with it. Give someone else a chance.
  • Ashley
    if you don't want to see anymore sequels then all you have to do is not watch them.
  • Mad_Hatter
    I agree with Hyacinth. Hardwicke's directing in Twilight was horrid. I love the Twilight books and I love "Spunk Ransom" as Edward, but the goddamn directing made me want to kill myself. She needs to learn how to control the camera better and NOT induce severe motion-sickness in the audience before she tackles another movie gig. And so, I say, let the man take a crack at it. All he has to do is follow what's already been laid out by Stephanie, right? Though the idea of Joe Wright directing it sounds more appealing to me. But yeah, to all those complaining about how much they dislike Twilight: If you don't like it DON'T WATCH IT! *gasp* What a novel idea! Stop being a bunch of whiny babies. It's very unbecoming and anything but cool or trendy.
  • Alex
    This is one of the first times i have ever take the opportunity to read all of the comments, not since the Harry Potter move date. And i have done so with a small degree of facination. I dont know much about how directing works, and i dont assume many commentors know either. I had high expectations for the Golden Compass. But i felt for all of the films lushness it was also a bit choppy and just missing the magic spark that makes a flim feel great and complete. As for Twilight, I'll try and get some intelligent thoughts out before i digress. I only really saw the film because my girl and my best friend read the books. They didnt like the film because they thought it wasnt a good reflection of the book. I however slightly enjoyed the film in its honest simplicity, and i thought it conveyed a nice, though "bubblegum story". I find it a huge cliche to dislike something simply based on hype to something you may not particualrly like. Films arent reality TV. They take a certain degree of effort. To trash any working member of the film community so generically is only reflective of the minds who do the trashing. Not liking Twilight because of its teenage stigma or whatever is just like blanket hating anything. I hate emo, or i hate country or i hate rap. This site is an amazing forum for what i like to believe are movie enthusiasts. I consider myself a movie enthusiast becuase i dont want to not like something, or see something fail. Unless its maybe beverly hills chihuahua, scary movie 14 or a film that Fox butchers. Most movies for the most part are visual storytelling, we love to be taken somewhere else and told a story through our eyes. I understand how is someone is intelligibly upset due to dissapointment that they would be hyper-critical of something, but i think genre biggots really are wasting thier words posting. I love firstshowing but shame on you for calling for the downfall of something that so many people love. For goodness sakes save that hate for total wastes of time like satire films. You've given Dragon Ball more restraint than you have given Twilight. Your supposed to be film enthusiasts not gossip commentary for TMZ. Mad Hatter love your post. If there is any one who knows anything about directing or the film making formula and arent a genre biggot, would you please tell me why Hardwicke left or was fired. And what can Weitz bring as far as personal strength to make New Moon a decent storytelling experience?
  • Tay
    I must agree with Mad Hatter and Alex on this one too. While everyone is entitled to their opinion about any subject. However slander against anything or anyone should come from educated thoughts….like maybe reading the books or something? Otherwise it just sounds like total crap spewing out of someone’s mouth. It might lead some juvenile minds (because there’s proof right before us that those minds are reading this) to think you’re jealous of the films success! I’d had hoped that “real” film critics reviewing a film based off a book, choose to read the book at least so they can have an idea before watching the film. I’ve read so many reviews from critics starting off their rant “I haven’t read the books but…” It’s sad to see that no thought is going into anything anymore. Like Alex was saying, it seems to just be some sort of hype to trash on something because it’s popular. There’s a lot more to say, but I’d rather not give “fuel” to the readers who like to use online forums as an outlet for their tiny brains.
  • Hyacinth
    Tay: The reason why film critics don't read the books before watching their adaptations is because they don't want to lose objectivity on the film itself. A film should be judged as a film, no matter what the source material is. It is first and foremost a film and should be judged as such. If we judged all films by the books they were taken from, every film would pale in comparisson. One of the first things you're taught in Adaptations. As for Alex's question, while I can not comment on Hardwicke without bringing in my personal taste, I think I can comment on Weitz. Academy Award Nominated for his About A Boy screenplay, he would probably provide valuable insight to Rosenberg's scripts to make it more appealing to the rest of the world who seem to dislike the language and writing of the books while still maintain the integrity of the story. In terms of directing, especially with the Golden Compass, we can certainly credit Weitz for having worked with some of the most talented in film (Nicole Kidman, Ian Mckellen, Daniel Craig, Hugh Grant etc.) Regardless of the film's success, the fact remains that handling those actors is a privilege and a definite boost in the old resume. It also helps that he has been a buddy of Summit for a while now, thus making the studio transactions significantly smoother. Hope that was insightful and objective enough XD
  • Tia
    I thought The Golden Compass was a great film. Why do people trash the director when a film flops anyways? There are so many other factors, it's ridiculous. And since when is $300 million a flop? I too will save my judgement until the film is complete. In my opinion, it takes more than a director to ruin a film.
  • Briana Brown
    Well im happy there is a new director for the upcoming twilight movie,since i was a little dissappointed in the making of the first.I mean the lines' the script wasnt up to par'they had no conviction of feeling'as they did in the book.An for those of you who don't like the series'that's you,everyone has their on preffrences.Some of you maybe to bitter to like love stories yet alone'ones with twists.I was hoping they'd get the director of underworld or van helsing to work on the second film'since jacob spose to be reaching his wolf phase'and it takes amazing graphics to pull that off.Haha but what can i say i'm going to give Chris a chance and see how the movie plays out.Hopefully their is more passion and feeling in the next movie,the kind that makes you second guess your love'the kind thats always in the back of your mind and gives you chills just thinkiing about it.If it doesnt work out i might just want to direct the movie myself.(;
  • kayla
    Chris Weirz is a horrible director and anyone who thinks differently is severly disturbed. I hope he dosn't get the job because i don't want to see another one of my preferable books butchered and downgraded by his version on the big screen.
  • jenny
    well i think that the director of twilight should produce new moon because Chris Weirz is a horrible director and if he changes the actors ill get so mad so please dont change the actors !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Merc
    I didn't mind the first film, but I didn't plan on seeing any further sequels. Honestly, the fact that Chris Weitz was given another chance like this makes me want to beat the shit out of Summit's asshat "President of Production". I liked Catherine Hardwicke's direction approach on Twilight, shame there's always conflict with the good ones. Damn you Weitz, you bastard... Damn you!.
  • AnnMarie
    Hi I am AnnMarie Cole and a fan of the Golden Compass not the movie, but also a fan of the twilight series not the movie. The problem I find with directors who uses a novel or fictional book story, is this, they lack depth therefore the movies are never as good as the books. One of the only two movies I have seen that was indepth and close to what the books were 'The Notebook and Lord of the Rings',Materpieces I am not saying that Chris Weitz is not a good director but when doing a novel or fictional story, one should go for details the main points in the story then use that to build the intensity of the story line. That was why I was very disappointed after watching the Golden Compass. The same problem with Twilight, Catherine left out alot interesting points that would have brought more depth and meaning to the story line. The characterization of the characters was very good and am very much impressed and satisfied with the internaliztion of Edward. However the realtion between Bella and Edward developed too fast, there were important points in the book that could have stalled it some more for example that was a 'moment' when Edward didn't go to class because it was blood typing day. How could u have missed a moment like that, when that episode brought them closer but not together as yet. Anyways everything is already done, My advise for Chris is to read the book over and over again, each time u read u see new details. I am really looking forward to seeing new moon, I would appreciate some indepth work rather than surface material. I have garduated from college as a theatre major so I know it takes alot for the directors to do it right if not they will be slautered by the critics so good luck Chris.
  • http://myspace.com/jemusicxp jemm14
    Well, I've watched the Golden Compass and I could say it was cool but yeah not that great. I dont think it was solely the director's fault or something. Hahaha. But yeah I just hope he'll turn New Moon into something better than Twilight! Of course, there should be improvements right? Come on, that's the second book. Idk, but yeah I'll still have my nose sniffing for that second sequel of Meyer's.
  • Krickethunter
    I thought Chris did a good job making a movie out of a bad book when it came to the golden compass. Hopefully he will be able to do something with New Moon but I have a bad feeling that it will be a flop since New Moon was a very slow book and Edward is not even present for most of it.
  • KissKissKiss
    If New Moon sucks we all know who to blame Chris Weitz.
  • justme
    This is a late comment, so I'm not sure who will even read it, but I feel like I need to defend the Twilight series...not the movie so much...I was very disappointed in the movie for the same reasons AnnMarie stated...but the story in general is not some generic teenage love story. The thing I love most about stories like Harry Potter, and Lord of the Ring, and Twilight is that you become engrossed in a whole different world and it's almost a let down when you put down the last book in the series and realize that you have to come back to the real world now. Don't generalize Twilight just because it's popular...it was very well done and appeals to many different genres of readers. Try it...you might like it. In fact, I don't know that I've ever met someone who read the books that didn't love them... Anyway...back to movie stuff...I'm VERY glad that Chris will be directing New Moon, if only because he is not Catherine. If Twilight were not so popular from the books, the movie wouldn't have done well at all. I feel like the movie made the story SEEM like a generic teenage love story and I was really let down by it. But I feel better knowing that New Moon has a chance at bringing back the magic of the world that is Twilight. And I have one more opinion that may make a lot of Twilight fans mad...but I'm sooooooo disappointed in the actors who play the main characters. They're just not right...my opinion of course...but, *sigh* we're stuck with them now. I blame Catherine for that 100%. If only they could have started out with a different director than we'd have actors who really personify the characters that Stephenie created. Oh well. It's all for fun anyway right? : )
  • 28ravens
    Can't believe I'm commenting on the twilight saga ..... I finally read the books out of simple curiosity and found them a very easy fun read with the exception of Breaking Dawn ....Stephanie Meyer must have been dropping acid with that one. But the movies are a real let down ..... I won't waste my money on the last two. Catherine H. did a far less than stellar job with Twilight and Chris Weitz destroyed New Moon. Why any director would let the main actress walk thru her part seemingly stoned, completely devoid of emotion is beyond me . Mysteriously Kristen Stewart seems to have supporters but for me she is a complete zero as an actress. Robert Pattinson joined Kristen's zombie act in New Moon. Their performances were wooden, lacked any chemistry whatsoever and conveyed none of the angst or romance present in the book. They could have made a fun, memorable romantic fantasy out of these books but instead we get clumsy, inept, B rated (or is it C) filmmaking ..... pathetic direction, choppy, sloppy script writing and in some cases an extremely poor choice in casting.

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