'Twilight' Director Catherine Hardwicke Is Out -- So Who Should Direct 'New Moon'?
We examine the benefits and drawbacks of a few potential applicants.
By Larry Carroll
As Twilighters wipe aside the tears for their beloved Catherine, however, they must focus on looking ahead to the obvious question: Who will direct "New Moon"? With only a few months until cameras begin rolling, we examine the benefits and drawbacks of a few potential applicants:
Why It Would Work: More so than any other franchise, "Twilight" needs a woman at the helm. Hardwicke's strengths were in her depictions of first love, the awkwardness of high school, and Bella's friendship with her father, Charlie. Coppola, an Oscar winner, proved she could do the same with "The Virgin Suicides" and "Lost in Translation." She'd undoubtedly make Italy look beautiful, and after "Marie Antoinette," her career could use an easy box-office hit. A quick look at her empty production slate seems to reveal that she'd be available.
Why It Would Work: "Twilight" screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg has compared Edward and Bella's forbidden romance to "Brokeback Mountain." So why not get the Oscar-winning director of that film to come onboard?
Why It Would Work: A hyperactive talent known for creating warm, familial sets much like Hardwicke, Levy has built an impressive résumé by cranking out box-office hits like "Cheaper by the Dozen." Lately, he has been playing in larger toy boxes with the "Night at the Museum" films and was supposed to make "The Flash" until that superhero film moved on without him. He knows what teens want, would inject some humor, and seems ready to take on the "New Moon" visual effects.
Why It Would Work: Love him or hate him, Ratner is the king of taking over franchises in times of transition ("X-Men: The Last Stand," "Red Dragon") and keeping them financially successful. He's willing to adapt his directorial style to that of his predecessors and could undoubtedly bring "New Moon" home with another $70 million opening weekend — at the very least.
Why It Would Work: It's no secret that the biggest obstacle in "New Moon" is the special effects, and Summit Entertainment isn't a full-on studio that can just throw $200 million into the budget. That combination largely led to Hardwicke's departure. For a decade and a half, Rodriguez has been showing Hollywood how to make a movie look like it has two or three times its budget, and nobody does it better than the author of "Rebel Without a Crew." He gave Taylor Lautner his first big break ("Sharkboy and Lavagirl"), has made a great vampire movie in the past ("From Dusk Till Dawn"), and might also be in the market for a surefire hit after "Grindhouse" underperformed.
Why It Would Work: She's virtually the same age as Hardwicke, is a female director, and has made some great teenage films over the years ("Clueless," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"). Heckerling is coming off a nightmarish Hollywood experience with "I Could Never Be Your Woman" and seems likely to jump at a surefire blockbuster opportunity.
Why It Would Work: Quite simply, he's one of the best directors alive. The man behind "Fight Club," "Seven" and this month's "Curious Case of Benjamin Button" would follow Stephenie Meyer's novel with obsessive meticulousness, and it's hard to imagine a more fascinating lens to watch the "Twilight" franchise through.
Why It Would Work: Many "Twilight" fans have already voiced their affection for the "Lemony Snicket" director, and his other films ("Casper," "City of Angels," "Moonlight Mile") have displayed skill at balancing themes of life, death and everlasting love. Factor in his special-effects experience (and set aside his gender), and he might just be the best person for the job.
Why It Would Work: Also a female, around the same age as Hardwicke and equally adept at drama, the Indian filmmaker depicts romance beautifully. If she could make "New Moon" half as good as "The Namesake," we'd all be in for a treat.
Why It Would Work: He's an Oscar-winning legend, made his name with supernatural themes ("Rosemary's Baby") and already lives in Europe. It's been a long time since he's made a mainstream hit film, and he might want to give it one last shot at this point in his career.