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Catherine Hardwicke won't be back to direct the sequel for Twilight.
In a joint statement released by Summit Entertainment, the studio and director made a peaceful parting of the ways. "I am sorry that due to timing I will not have the opportunity to direct New Moon," said Hardwicke. "Directing Twilight has been one of the great experiences of my life, and I am grateful to the fans for their passionate support of the film. I wish everyone at Summit the best with the sequel -- it is a great story."
"Catherine did an incredible job in helping us to launch the Twilight franchise and we thank her for all of her efforts and we very much hope to work with her on future Summit projects," said Erik Feig, Summit's president of production. "We as a studio have a mandate to bring the next installment in the franchise to the big screen in a timely fashion so that fans can get more of Edward, Bella and all of the characters that Stephenie Meyer has created. We are able to pursue an aggressive time frame as we have the luxury of only adapting the novels into screenplays as opposed to having to create a storyline from scratch."
Summit wants New Moon out in theaters by the end of 2009 or early 2010 and it seems as if Hardwicke wanted more time for prep than Summit wanted to give -- or at least that's one way to read into what just went down. "Summit's targeted end of 2009 or early 2010 release of the film, New Moon, does not work with Ms. Hardwicke's required prep time to bring her vision of the film to the big screen," the statement reads in part. "Thus as has been done before with many successful film franchises, the studio will employ a new director for New Moon."
As to who will be Hardwicke's replacement, that's the new question Twilight fans are now asking.
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