Despite all of the speculations of her return, Catherine Hardwicke won't be taking the director role on "New Moon", the first sequel of hit film "Twilight", and the reason behind that, has been pointed on schedule conflict. Following the outing of joint announcement from Summit Entertainment and Hardwicke about her not being involved in the sequel, many noted that the two could not find a middle ground for "New Moon" schedule.
While the production company is eyeing for end of 2009 or early 2010 release of the sequel, Hardwicke reportedly wants more time to produce the follow-up film. Other speculation coming up to the surface about Hardwicke's abrupt departure has suggested that there are clashes between her and the all-male hierarchy at Summit. Still, Summit's chief executive Rob Friedman was quick to reject the idea of gender issues.
"It's an insult to me personally as well as to our company. I'm the father of four daughters. When I was at Paramount, we did Kathryn Bigelow's 'K-19: The Widowmaker.' I was the person who marketed Mimi Leder's 'Deep Impact'," Friedman responded as quoted by Los Angeles Times. "Here at Summit, one of the first films we've bought was 'The Hurt Locker,' which is also directed by Kathryn Bigelow. We would definitely make another film with Catherine Hardwicke, just not the sequel to 'Twilight.'"
The announcement of Hardwicke not directing "New Moon" itself came on Sunday, December 7 from both Hardwicke and the production company. About it, the "Thirteen" director commented, "I am sorry that due to timing I will not have the opportunity to direct 'New Moon'. 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."
Summit's President of Production Erik Feig has also shared some words saying, "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." He then added, "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."