There will be a new director atop the Twilight franchise: and he’ll be a man. Sources tell EW.com that Summit Entertainment is about to hire Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass) as the shepherd for New Moon, the second installment of Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling Twilight series. Weitz is best-known for his work with his brother Paul. The two directed and produced American Pie and then were nominated for an Academy Award for best screenplay for About a Boy, which they also co-directed. Chris’ first solo directing gig, The Golden Compass, didn’t do well stateside but was a hit internationally.
Twilight, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, has grossed more than $141 million so far, but Hardwicke had clashed with the studio during production. It was announced early this week that she would not be making New Moon. Weitz has a solid relationship with Summit’s top brass; he’s considered easy to work with and has experience with special effects. “He’s the quality-of-life-choice,” says one source. While Summit insists “we have not yet signed Chris Weitz to do New Moon,” and Weitz’s agency says no deal has been signed, other sources say the deal is imminent, and that Summit has stopped negotiations with other potential Moon directors. Last weekend, Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily broke the news that Weitz was in consideration for the gig, and she reported on Dec. 9 that Summit had made an offer to Weitz. Summit plans to officially announce this hiring decision on Sunday, Dec. 14, and could have Weitz in Vancouver, B.C. as early as Monday to start pre-production on the film.