By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 9, 2008 at 9:17AM
The Catherine Hardwicke story continues. Still at issue are: why she didn't get the gig on New Moon, the Twilight sequel, and who will take her place.
Patrick Goldstein suggests that Hardwicke's strong points (intensity, intuition) were also her weak points. But it dismays me that someone at Summit leaked their bile against her to the press. All directors are saved by their collaborators, on some level.
And there are so few talented women directors, much less commercially viable ones, that I also hate it when a woman who fights for her movies is labeled as difficult. David O. Russell continues to get work, not to mention countless others who don't always behave well during production. Sometimes making a fuss is the only way to get your way in a town that tends to reward bad behavior. According to the A.P., Hardwicke's home message answering machine says, in part:
"We've been kicked out of the `Twilight' editorial, so we're homeless, so please leave your name and number after the tone."
I will repeat herewith that Hardwicke is developing two movies with her Thirteen producer, Groundswell's Michael London, and maintains strong ties with Sony, which made Lords of Dogtown.
As for New Moon, who should Summit hire? Actually, Chris Weitz isn't a terrible idea.
One plausible theory has Summit turning to Jeff Wadlow, who has already directed two films for the young demo, one of which, Never Back Down, was Summit's biggest film prior to Twilight and starred rogue vampire Cam Gigandet.
Variety staffers have suggested Wong Kar Wai, Eli Roth, David S. Goyer, Gurindher Chadha, Deepa Mehta and Mira Nair. None of these has the right combination of skills. Some of them are too hard, some too soft. Hardwicke will be trickier to replace than Summit might think. She has the right combo of skills: the ability to not be afraid of strong, powerful romantic emotions (which send most men running for the door), tune into the taste of young audiences, and pull off VFX and action. How many directors, male or female, can do that? One of the reasons Twilight scored was not only its faithfulness to Stephenie Meyer's book, but also its sheer originality. There has never been anything quite like this young adult/PG-13/horror/romance/thriller.
[Originally appeared on Variety.com]