Catherine Hardwicke on leaving 'Twilight': 'I do not regret it at all, thank the Lord'

stewart-pattinsonDirector Catherine Hardwicke, who launched the Twilight series into theaters and has the similarly thematic Red Riding Hood coming out March 11, tells Newsweek that she wasn’t fired from the blockbuster series but simply decided against directing subsequent Twilight films. “I couldn’t even be fired, that’s what’s so funny,” she tells the magazine. “In my contract, I had the first right of refusal.”

At the time, there was some speculation that Summit had fired Hardwicke for being difficult, but Hardwicke had expressed concern about Summit’s hurried schedule for New Moon and that film’s Edward-less plot arc, telling EW in 2008: ”You have to get the chemistry as strong between Jacob and Bella as it was between Bella and Edward. You also have to do something with that arc: She’s in love with somebody, he disappears, she falls in love with someone else, and the first guy comes back. Movies like Pearl Harbor have tried it. It absolutely didn’t work.”

Looking back now, she tells Newsweek,  “I do not regret it at all, thank the Lord…. The truth is I liked the first book the best.”

It must be difficult to walk away from this kind of success, but I can’t count how many readers of the Twilight saga have told me the same thing about which book was their favorite. Do you share her diminished affection for the book’s sequels? Did Hardwicke make the right call, cutting loose after one film?

Read more:
‘Twilight': First peek at Catherine Hardwicke’s ‘Director’s Notebook’
Catherine Hardwicke and novelist discuss ‘Red Riding Hood’
New ‘Red Riding Hood’ trailer: More Gary Oldman, more scares, more skin
Catherine Hardwicke talks new project: ‘Red Riding Hood’

Comments (91 total) Add your comment
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  • Rosalie

    I have to agree with her 100%. I absolutely love the first book. New Moon did make me giddy and queezy though. However, I was really dissapointed with the movie. It failed to capture the teenagers rage(I’m talking about the wolf pack). It didn’t convey how the teen wolfs were dealing with their new responsibilities and how those who had not been transformed felt left out and betrayed by their friends. There is one thing that Catherine can do better than anyone else and that is that she can capture the spirit of young people and translate it to the big screen. Go back and look at the cafeteria and class room scenes in Twilight and tell me they don’t feel like your watching through a window into an actual high school. Anyhow, I thought that Eclipse and Breaking Dawn were pretty much the same plot. The Cullens and the Wolf Pack waiting for the enemy for an epic battle.

    • Adam

      Vampires. Don’t. Sparkle.

      • tg

        They so clearly all suck it’s ridiculous. The wolves look stupid. Vampires don’t sparkle. Bella is dysthymic. The whole series sucks. But it;s addictive to girls. I read it because I work with adolescent girls. I hate eery word. They are all torture. THe movies are worse. At least cast a hot guy as Edward. Robert Pattinson is stupid and pasty and ugly. My god! Are you serious? This whole thing is a farce.

      • LAJackie

        I can live with a sparkly vampire – it’s up to the author to come up with their own mythology after all – but if you’re going to have a sparkly vampire then make him sparkle for goodness sake! The special effects in that first movie were awful. I didn’t see any of the subsequent films so I don’t know if they improved it at all.

      • Beebop

        Good heavens….vampires don’t sparkle? Folks, news flash – vampires aren’t real – its fiction and you can make them do whatever you want them to! People either like the fiction or they don’t – personal choices here! If you don’t like it – don’t read it! No one forces any of the twilight bangers to read these articles or post on them – obviously Stephanie did something right to generate all this interest – negative and positive. I say let them sparkle away!

      • Karate Pants

        Adam needs some new material.

    • andy

      they fired her because she’s a whiny diva who seems to oveerate her talent by about 300%

      • S

        Shut up, she is 100% right and is not a diva.

    • TV_Pete

      I like the third book the best. Most people I know feel the same.

    • aha

      i dont know who made these movies popular … i originally thought why is harry potter famous .. and when i saw the movies i was awed .. but when i saw twilight .. i was bored .. rather beyond bored … k-stew was boring .. she had expressionless face .. but somehow there are some mad crazy people who just made it popular .. frankly maybe first was ok … after that its just more and more boring … bella boreeeeeeeeeeeee

    • Amanda

      I agree with you so much!!! I loved the first twilight movie and I did not care for part two or three at all. The original was so much more unique and had an amazing look to it, I liked the way Catherine directed it so much better! Hope she will direct any new upcoming movies for this series, the second two didn’t have that magical crystal like quality of the first one, twighlight “felt” real to watch and I liked how she kept Bella more pale too with her hair darker & the love story was so “real” and more of a “real” story with school and the dance, restaurant. Scenes etc …just better all the way around, writing, directing, acting, scenery, makeup, filming and music…. Part 2&3 failed

      • Amanda

        I was agreeing with rosalee’s comments…by the way

    • Amanda

      Loved the sparkle effect!

  • chris c

    I would have like to have seen what she could have done with New Moon.I love Catherine Hardwicke and can’t wait to see what she does with Red Riding Hood.

    • Amanda

      Agree with Chris, Catherine would of brought the “magic” back, the second two were awful,

  • Liz

    The first book was the best one. In the subsequent books Bella becomes more and more intolerable, Edward gets more ridiculously stalkerish. Jacob is really the only character that benefitted from the sequels but even he nose dives into ridiculous oblivion in Breaking Dawn.

    • Agreed

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Asha

      Well said indeed.

  • Tina

    Catherine Hardwicke on leaving ‘Twilight': “The paycheck was nice but that series with the plucky boy, the red-head sidekick, and the unhot but hot girl and the gay creep with the big wand…I regret not having it at all.”

    • Catherine Hardwicke

      How dare you say that about me! I never did like the Narnia books as a child! *feigns dumb*

      • Lady Gaga

        You people are such…monsters. Personally, I think you are missing the real issue here: EW decided to post an article on their “precious” Twilight instead of me. It’s gotta be me, me, me! I WANT ANOTHER ARTICLE ON ME, EW, DA MITT! THERE HAS ONLY BEEN 2854905024086083596518391601535937865396075331325211641314631431 THIS MONTH! I WANT ANOTHER! THE LITTLE MONSTERS NEED ME! THEY CAN’T BREATHE WITHOUT ME! SERVE ME, EW!

      • Mel Gibson

        Charlie Sheen is crazier than me!!!nya, nya, nya, nya nyahhhh!!!

      • Joe Piscapo

        HEY! whata bout me ya guys?

  • Lady Gaga

    By the way, I’m better than Britney.

  • azn

    it’s okay. she made one of the worst movies of the 21st century. she’s not missed.

    • Amanda

      I miss her….twilight was amazing…..the so called sequels don’t even compare to Catherine hardwickeS charm & vision….

  • Sabz

    In my opinion, the first movie was the most poorly directed… I felt depressed even watching it, as I was watching the second one, everything was so much better directed… Lighter. Glad she left twilight, made it better.

    • Dani

      @Sabz – I have to agree. The first movie – though certainly important to the franchize – seemed ‘darker’. This may be due to the way it was shot and the fact that Summit probably threw more $$$ into the franchise after the first one. I, too, felt that everything was better directed in the second and third films. I’m hoping that Breaking Dawn will be even better.

      • Amanda

        Disagree completely, the first was filmed amazingly… The second two sucked, just so dumb how the director kept having jacob carry around Bella i’n his shorts was ridiculous. Catherine may not of had the huge budget but look how much better it was, I don’t think it was “dark” it was vivid and unique which was 100 x better

    • Karate Pants

      Agree, she took what could have been an amazing story and basically destroyed it.
      Chris Weitz and David Slade were both much better directors, would have loved to see what either of them (okay, especially Slade) would have done with the first movie.

      • Amanda

        What?! Are you kidding, ugh!!! Catherine did an amazing job on the first movie, the second two were horrible, wish Catherine would of directed and rewritten the second two.

      • Amanda

        No way, Catherine hardwicke was so much better than the two obviously gay directors that took over, and I say obviously gay for the way they had Jacob and his ridiculous bunch walking around stupidly i’n tight shorts and bare chested, ridiculous. She would of kep the story amazing, what a shame that they didn’t keep her and her unique style which is what made the first twilight great!! Everything was better with her directing, musical score was better too and cinematography, everything was special with her.

  • Melanie

    I loved the first one the darkness is what I loved about it. Made the movie seem more realistic for where it was set, which if you have ever been there is a dark and rainy place. Its a dark series and being sunny and bright isn’t exactly what its about.

    • Psychological Director

      I was disappointed the first time I saw Twilight because it was so different from my own vision of Bella’s world, but actually I think Hardwick achieved something wonderful that’s under-stated and subtle. I think her directing style lends itself well to portraying an intense psychological state, particularly that of a brooding teenage girl. And I think it’s refreshing to find a director that’s more interested in making movies than money.

    • Amanda

      I agree with you completely!!!!! Very well put!!!! I loved the “darkness” too, it was unique and special, I loved it, the second two don’t even compare to the first one.

      • Amanda

        I was agreeing with melanie

  • Nick T

    I’ve only seen the first two films and haven’t read the books, but I can say that she is so right on about why the first one was 10x better than the 2nd. Didn’t really care about Jacob and Bella and since Ed wasn’t there, I didn’t care about those two.

  • abby

    The first book was entertaining and the movie was a great adaptation. The sequels have been awful. They’ve focused so hard on making Lautner a star (why?) that they’ve trashed the central story. The sequels are even hard to look at, since they cake Pattinson and the Cullen actors in kabuki makeup.

    • Amanda

      I agree with you abby completely!!! Twilight was amazing the other two were awful.

  • Hannah

    Despite looking the shabbiest of the three so far, I agree that the first Twilight film was the best, mostly because it had some sort of genuine charm and spark, whereas the next two were just stiff, awful and reeked of mass marketization. Was it a masterpiece, no. It wasn’t even a “good film.” But you could tell that some level of emotional involvement went into it. Same can’t be said for the next two. And obviously Breaking Dawn is a disaster in the making. She was right to do the one she wanted and walk away, and the series had nowhere to go but down anyway.
    On a related note, I’m wondering if you’re planning to ask Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell if they regret not doing subsequent Harry Potter films …

    • Angie

      I agree with you 100%!! I loved the Twilight, but I never had the same enthusiasm for New Moon or Eclipse, even though they clearly have bigger budgets and just look higher quality.

      • Amanda

        Exactly…Twilight had charm, the other two fail

  • Shannon

    Um, I think the series should be thanking her for leaving. I didn’t think Twilight should be any more ridiculous until I saw her directing.

    • Karate Pants

      True, she, with some help from Melissa Rosenberg, ruined that movie. Chillax, spider monkeys…
      You know what is the most ridiculous part of what she’s saying now? That the main reason she chose not to direct New Moon is because she didn’t like Bella and Edward being apart. Whaaaa??? Does she just not get it? She would prefer the whole Jacob/Bella thing wasn’t there? How boring.

      • Amanda

        You are wrong! Catherine Hardwicke made twilight special and unique!!! The other two directors ruined the series, part two and three should never have been made! I’n fact, I only keep “twilight” on my dvr the other two I would never watch again! The first, original twilight is the only good one and I could watch it over and over again!

  • James

    Does anyone else get annoyed when a film maker, writer, actor, etc. has a new project coming out, and instead of really talking about the new project, the press mainly asks about older work that the interviewee is obviously trying to move on from?
    It has to get annoying.

  • annamorphos

    The direction for the first Twilight was decent, but the writing was deplorable! I mean, the Twilight series isn’t well written to begin with, but then Melissa Rosenberg (the god awful screenwriter) showed up and demolished everything! She’s ruined the scripts for Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse (Even though it was my fave). I cringe to think of what she’s done with Breaking Dawn. I mean, even with two movies..she’s still gonna find a way to screw it up.

  • Michael Okoreeh

    In this economy, no she didnt.

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