April 7, 2010

Is Bill Condon actually going to direct the final Twilight films?

Well, it appears like he just might, according to Deadline:

Bill Condon has emerged as the number one choice to direct the final two installments of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, I’m told. Summit Entertainment hasn’t signed him, but I’m told that after several strong meetings, they are negotiating. Condon was among a list of A-list directors approved by Summit and Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. That list included Gus Van Sant, Sofia Coppola and Fernando Meirelles. Shooting will begin in the fall, and I heard the plan is to shoot two films back to back. That was just what my colleague Nikki Finke reported. She also wrote that Summit was looking for a big director and Dreamgirls and Gods and Monsters director Condon certainly fits that bill. Presumably, Condon would do this as his next project, and push back the picture he had planned to direct.
That’s an adaptation of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, which he was putting together to be distributed by Fox Searchlight. Casting had been difficult on that one, as Colin Firth was in and out, along with Rachel Weisz and Kristin Scott Thomas. The Twilight job came open when The Twilight Saga: New Moon director Chris Weitz decided not to reprise, despite directing a film that grossed $707 million worldwide., almost doubling the Catherine Hardwicke-directed original's $385 million worldwide gross. New Moon also broke Twilight's opening weekend DVD sale record when it moved 4 million units to the 3.8 million of the original Twilight, which went on to become 2009's top DVD title with 9.2 million sales. David Slade helmed the upcoming installment, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which Summit releases June 30. Condon is also going to direct the Richard Pryor biopic that will star Marlon Wayans and will be made by Columbia Pictures through a put deal held by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison, which is a producer on the project. Like Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, that is going to have to wait for Condon to finish the double feature. Hollywood hasn't given Summit its due on the Twilight pictures. Like them or not, these pictures have been better than they had to be, given the ferocious fan base. They are exciting movies with a fresh contemporary feel. That Summit keeps pushing the envelope, where director quality is concerned, says a lot in how to keep franchises engaging for fans--something that studios now readying prequels, four-quels and reboots, would be smart to emulate.

-Thoughts?

17 comments:

  1. That sound you just heard is me sighing really loudly...

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  2. 5 months after the last one it will be forgotten.

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  3. As long as it has that insane birth sequence, I'll be there.

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  4. I have a question: what birth sequence?

    It's sad, especially since Condon is a talented filmmaker, but with "Dreamgirls" and now this piece of I don't know what, it just seems like he's taking whatever he's being offered.

    It's also so stupidly obvious to me that the producers on this series are only going after talented filmmakers just so that they attract crowds who are still skeptical about the franchise. In my opinion, this method won't work on the people who really have respect for cinema, especially since it is "Twilight", after all.

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  5. From what I understand, Kristen Stewart gives violently bloody birth to some vampire/human spawn.

    Condon is hit and miss with me, but I know what you mean.

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  6. Aargh. I have a huge amount of admiration for Condon and his films, but it would break my heart if he would take a hack job like this.

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  7. Well, prepare to grab those tissues and a tub of ice cream...

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  8. How true, Joey. How unfortunately, depressingly true.

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  9. Everyone's gotta pay the bills. Look on the bright side...it could have been Sofia Coppola or Gus Van Sant wasting their time on this.

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  10. But the point is that it wasn't them -- Summit Entertainment contacted these filmmakers, not the other way around.

    I'd like to think that someone as talented as Van Sant would have enough common sense to turn down material like this. Then again, we don't live in a perfect world...

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  11. Hm... I'm scared and depressed. Is it only me or everyone thinks it's going really DOWN for Condon?

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  12. I second that, especially since I really like "Gods and Monsters", and thought that "Kinsey" was great...

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