Twilight director leaves sequel

Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke will not helm the second installment of the blockbuster film series.

Hardwicke and Summit Entertainment issued a joint press release stating “Summit’s targeted end of 2009 or early 2010 release of the film, NEW MOON, does not work with Ms. Hardwicke’s required prep time to bring her vision of the film to the big screen.”

Nikki Finke over at Deadline Hollywood Daily had already reported that relations between Hardwicke and Summit were strained during the making of the tween vampire sensation.

The $70 million opening weekend gross for Twilight set a new record for a female director. Will Summit hire another female director to helm New Moon? Will Hardwicke’s absence affect fans attendance?

Look forward to a review of Twilight later this week.
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