By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 28, 2010 at 5:39AM
Finally, Summit Entertainment is confirming what we already had heard: that Dreamgirls director and last year's Oscar co-producer Bill Condon will direct the fourth film in the series, Breaking Dawn. This is by far the trickiest--and thickest-- of the four Stephenie Meyer novels, and the film world has been watching with bated breath for any news, posting stories on directors who were under consideration, much less hired. Summit is not confirming whether or not the novel will be adapted into two films or one, or Condon's rumored involvement in a fifth installment.
Bad buzz has been swirling around the third film Twilight: Eclipse, directed by David Slade, who lost his editor and had to do reshoots. That film will open June 30. The series has grossed $1.1 billion worldwide to date, so Summit does not want to lose momentum.
Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg is returning, along with the Twilight star trio Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt, and Stephenie Meyer are producing.
Condon is also a top screenwriter; he was nominated for writing the Oscar-winning Chicago and won the Oscar for adapted screenplay for Gods and Monsters. I'm also a fan of his under-appreciated biopic Kinsey. The question might be, what's in it for Condon? Besides a good payday, every director can use a hit. Lately Condon has been turning. like many smart adults in town, to cable. He directed the pilot episode for the Showtime series The Big C and is developing Tilda, series inspired by Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke, set to star Diane Keaton.
Summit is lucky to have him.