Despite the fact that Twilight has already made a profit of about $100 million in the space of 3 weeks, Nikki Finke broke the news yesterday that director Catherine Hardwicke was fired from the Vampire-lovin' franchise. She will not direct New Moon, the sequel to Twilight, and an insider from Summit Films tells Finke that Hardwicke was "'difficult' and 'irrational' during the making of Twilight…That doesn't mean anything when you're talking about a filmmaker because they all are, but still..."
It goes without saying that Hardwicke was difficult while having a vagina, which perhaps played a role in her dismissal.
This also could blow up into a scandal for Summit if it chooses a male director over Hardwicke, whose Twilight easily beat Mimi Leder's 1998 Deep Impact box office gross as the biggest opener for a female director. That was a record embraced by Hollywood feminists as a sign of growing gal power. ["To think that the people at Summit are sexist is insulting," an insider there replies to me.] This wasn't a good weekend for female film directors because Lexi Alexander's Punisher: War Zone bombed, earning less than half what Hollywood thought it would.
Not everyone thinks that Hardwicke's firing had to do with her gender. The cinephiles at Ain't It Cool News think Hardwicke was given a pink slip because Twilight just wasn't very good. "Hardwicke's indie sensibilities have kept the film from crossing over into a larger audience base. When I saw Catherine here in Austin at the preview screening of Twilight, I found her take on the material as she spoke to be very limited," says Harry Knowles. "And her capabilities to direct action sequences were limited - and in the interviews about how to handle the Wolves of New Moon... well, it didn't sound fantastic."
Knowles suggests Point Break director Kathryn Bigelow as a replacement for Hardwicke. In the press release regarding her leaving the franchise, Hardwicke says "I am sorry that due to timing I will not have the opportunity to direct New Moon," but perhaps the bad timing was not her personal schedule, it was that Hollywood's attitude towards female directors has yet to evolve.
Hardwicke Nixed For 'Twilight' Sequel; Summit Looks For 'New Moon' Director [Deadline Hollywood]
For Catherine Hardwicke, There Is No NEW MOON... [Ain't It Cool News]