Hardwicke's Twilight departure explained?
Catherine Hardwicke may have left the Twilight franchise after just one film for a number of reasons, none of them include a falling out with the studio.
They may all revolve around time scales, budgets and casting issues. It seems that she genuinely thought there was just not enough time or budget to get the job done right.
According to those usual inside sources through Hollywood Insider, it seems she might have had a good few other reasons not to take on New Moon, and the biggest one was that she was trying to protect the franchise, something the studio wasn't that keen on.
It seems that the studio wanted to rush out another film in the franchise, while Catherine Hardwicke wanted to take things a little easier and get it right. According to that source:
"She'd love to do the sequel if she could do it better than Twilight...It became clear that Summit didn't have those same priorities."
The first thing that seems to be not quite there is the script. It was revealed at the opening weekend of Twilight that the script was still in the first draft stage, and even the studio president said that there was a long way to go:
"There is that first...script. All the finesse that turns a screenplay into a movie hasn't happened yet."
However now it seems that all this has happened in record time and now the official word from the studio is that they are happy with the script - that was quick.
Next up were the issues around the story. It seems that in the second novel the love story between Bella and Edward is split as he is missing for the most part and she falls for the character of Jacob, only to find Edward returning later on in the story. The problem here is that the story needs the time to develop the character of Jacob and their relationship, it can't be rushed, something that she has confirmed before.
Then the article reveals that the film faces another problem. The studio doesn't want to rehire Taylor Lautner to play Jacob as, according to the Hollywood Insider insiders, he's just not bulked up enough for the role, and recasting him also means finding an entire Native American vampire family for him.
Finally there's the budget. Although it's been slightly increased to US $50 million they report that there's a lot of increased effects, more main characters, returning actors looking for more of the action, and there are some overseas shoots to deal with.
So it all sounds like she was actually looking at it and thinking there was too much, too soon and too cheap. It'll be interesting to see if Chris Weitz decides to walk away from it too, or if he'll pick up the guaranteed franchise winner.
I think that's the key there, the guaranteed franchise winner. Wouldn't you take up a deal like that, however it was going to turn out?