“Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke says she walked away from the payday of a lifetime to direct the sequel “New Moon” because she didn’t want to make the movie under the deadline and budget constraints that would have been placed on her.
That’s one of the key revelations in an interview she did with Entertainment Weekly in which she also discusses the forthcoming “Twilight: Director’s Notebook,” inspired by the on-set journal she kept while shooting the smash-hit vampire romance.
Hardwicke says in the interview posted on ew.com that she was having dinner in Paris with the film’s young stars, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, when her cell phone rang. She’d been in negotiations with Summit Entertainment, which released “Twilight,” about directing part two in Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling series.
Summit executives called to offer her “more money than I or anyone in my family has ever seen,” she said, but they added that she’d have to shoot “New Moon” under a tight deadline and modest budget.
Hardwicke turned them down.
“I was devastated,” she says now. “I really did feel a strong connection to the people around the world that liked the movie — and to Stephenie and the actors. But I just didn’t think I could make a good movie under those circumstances.”
Summit Entertainment had no comment on the report, spokesman Paul Pflug said.
Chris Weitz is now set to direct “New Moon,” which is preproduction. Pattinson and Stewart will reprise their roles as tormented vampire Edward Cullen and smitten high-school student Bella Swan when the movie comes out Nov. 20.
Hardwicke’s “Twilight: Director’s Notebook” is due in stores March 17, with the “Twilight” DVD coming out March 21. She had the highest opening ever for a female director when “Twilight” made nearly $70 million in its first weekend. It’s grossed about $188 million since its November opening.