Summit Entertainment is going the Harry Potter route by selecting a different director for every sequel to their hit movie Twilight. This is a risky but necessary move considering that Summit is taking an oddly aggressive approach to distributing these films: New Moon comes out only a year after the original, and Eclipse only eight months after that.
Eclipse, by far the best book of the four-part series, will be directed by Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona. Who the f**k is Bayona, you ask? Well, he directed the shockingly scary horror picture The Orphanage and is set to helm Hater for Universal Pictures. Bayona is, apparently, a protege of Guillermo Del Toro, who as everyone knows is directing the upcoming Hobbit films.
This is good news for the series. Catherine Hardwicke is a good director, but was the wrong choice for a vampire love story (that being said, Twilight still looked pretty damn good). Chris Weitz, who is doing New Moon, directed The Golden Compass, and while that one wasn’t as bad as critics made it out to be, it didn’t exactly prove his fantasy credentials. His work on About a Boy may come more in handy, however, since New Moon has very little real action.
Eclipse, thankfully, ends with a bang (so much so that I believe the series should have just stopped right there), and with The Orphanage Bayona has proven he can handle tense situations. Action scenes, I’m not so sure. But suspense, yes.
Melissa Rosenberg, who has written the screenplays for the last two Twilight films, is working on the third script. It is expected that Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner will reprise their roles of Edward, Bella and Jacob, respectively.
It will be interesting to see how this accelerated release schedule will play out for Summit. The Stephenie Meyer book series isn’t exactly made to make great movies, and I wonder if Summit realizes this. Furthermore, they may also be worried that the core audience will outgrow the story if they wait two years between each movie.
On the flip side, though, the amount of build up Summit can achieve leading up to each new Twilight picture will be subdued; by the time Eclipse rolls around, it won’t be much of an event considering that New Moon just left theaters a few months earlier.