New Moon Director

‘Twilight’ franchise to switch directors

It has been revealed that Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke will not return for the next picture in the vampire franchise.

Hardwicke had until recently been thought a candidate to helm the sequel, titled “New Moon,” but word began to circulate in the industry that the relationship between Summit and the helmer has not always been smooth.

On Sunday, Summit confirmed that Hardwicke won’t direct the film. The studio said in a statement that its targeted end of 2009 or early 2010 release of the film does not work with Ms. Hardwicke’s required prep time to bring her vision of the film to the big screen. Thus, as has been done before with many successful film franchises, the studio will employ a new director for “New Moon.”

The picture, whose start date has not yet been set, will nontheless reunite writer Melissa Rosenberg and actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Summit has not named a new director, but it is likely to want to move relatively quickly on the sequel after the original earned nearly $139 million in three weeks of its US release.

“New Moon” is the second installment in Stephenie Meyer’s four-book series and also centers on vampires in a small town in Washington state, this time with a more prominent role given to a teenage werewolf.