Last month Variety reported that Juan Antonio Bayona had been offered the directing job for the third movie in the Twilight Saga movie franchise, officially titled The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, after it was rumored that Drew Barrymore was interested in securing the directing job herself. Today, we learn from Summit Entertainment themselves that Bayona HAS NOT been given the job of directing … they have selected David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) to direct The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Here is the full text of the latest Summit Entertainment press release:
Summit Entertainment announced today that David Slade has been hired to direct THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE from a screenplay written by Melissa Rosenberg. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, the third film in the studio’s TWILIGHT film franchise based on the Stephenie Meyer’s blockbuster book series, will be released theatrically in North America on Wednesday, June 30, 2010. The announcement was made by Erik Feig, Summit’s President of Production. Meyer stated, “I am thrilled that David Slade will be directing ECLIPSE. He’s a visionary filmmaker who has so much to offer this franchise. From the beginning, we’ve been blessed with wonderful directorial talent for the Twilight Saga, and I’m so happy that ECLIPSE will be carrying on with that tradition.” Feig said, “Stephenie Meyer’s ECLIPSE is a muscular, rich, vivid book and we at Summit looked long and hard for a director who could do it justice. We believe we have found that talent in David Slade, a director who has been able to create complex, visually arresting worlds. We cannot wait to see the ECLIPSE he brings to life and brings to the fans eagerly awaiting its arrival in summer of 2010.” Filmmaker Slade came to prominence as a director for his work on 2006′s engrossing film HARD CANDY starring Academy Award® Nominated actress Ellen Page as well as directing 2007′s genre hit 30 DAYS OF NIGHT which opened to number one at the box office its first weekend of release. In ECLIPSE, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob — knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella is confronted with the most important decision of her life. Slade is represented by William Morris Agency.
I have to admit, I was very excited at the notion of Juan Antonio Bayona directing the third film, especially since Bayona is a protégée of Spanish director Guillermo del Toro (who I LOVE LOVE LOVE). I was very impressed with Bayona‘s film The Orphanage. That said, I really loved Slade‘s work on his film Hard Candy. That film was my first introduction to Ellen Page (before she appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand and Juno). I think Eclipse will be in very capable hands under Slade‘s direction. As you may recall, Summit has previously announced that The Twillight Saga: Eclipse will be released in theaters on June 30, 2010, which is just over one year’s time from now. So now we have both a release date and a director … all that’s left is for production to begin — but that can’t happen just yet since the second movie is currently being filmed in Vancouver. It’s a tight schedule, y’all … but the Twilight Saga movies are well on their way.