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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Twilight Shifts Direction

Word has finally broken on Catherine Hardwicke being canned by Summit from the next two Twilight movies. Apparently, this has been one of the best-kept secrets in Hollywood over the past couple weeks; one has to wonder whether Hardwicke herself knew this was coming, or if she was too heads-down on the press tour for Twilight to see the oncoming train. While Summit’s official statement is that Hardwicke and Summit are parting ways on the sequels over issues pertaining to Summit’s plan to shoot the sequels back-to-back and have New Moon ready for late 2009, buzz is also swirling around rumors of Hardwicke being difficult to work with, etc. Which, of course, could be equally said to apply to any number of male directors, but so it goes.

If it’s true that Hardwicke was canned solely for being “difficult,” that’s one thing; if the split was more to do with schedule, or even artistic vision for how the series should move forward, that’s another. You can certainly make the argument that Twilight‘s financial success has more to do with the fanbase than the filmmaking, or that the things that did work about the film (its visual look, for instance) are more to do with the vision of the DP than the director. The next film, New Moon, will by its nature have to be very action-heavy, with a lot of special effects in morphing humans to wolves, and those areas were clearly not Hardwicke’s strong suit when it came to Twilight.
And Summit has to know that they need to up the ante, quality-wise, for the sequels. So I’d not be entirely opposed to another director stepping in to direct the next two, but wondering if they’ll go with another female director to appease the fanbase. Twilight is a very femme-centric book series, and it would take a very particular sort of male director to hold onto that center while upping the action and effects. As far as female directors go, only Kathryn Bigelow or perhaps Lexi Alexander come to mind as female directors who have a strong sensibility for action. Any other ideas for good directors to take the series over come to mind?

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2 Responses to “Twilight Shifts Direction”

  1. modernknife says:

    Bigelow is an inspired choice. Even though she’s been down this vampire path before, she has seasoned chops in camera, editing and working with actors. A real triple threat. Sign her up for two films and let her loose…
    …which may be the problem. Bigelow is exactly the kind of talent behind the camera this franchise needs, but based on Summit’s go-go-go schedule, would they let her do her thing?

  2. Wray says:

    Either of your suggested choices would probably do a fine job, but I wouldn’t completely rule out a male director. I thought, for example, that Joe Wright did an excellent job of handling “femme-centric material”.
    I don’t think we should forget; however, that Twilight was a kind of introduction to the series and given the increased budget would have been higher quality with Catherine Hardwicke at the helm.
    Also, let’s remember that Twilight is first and foremost a love story. Not another Underworld, please.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon