While some of our musical tastes overlap with those of a teenage girl—in case you were wondering: yes, the new Kelly Clarkson album is awesome—we can happily say we are not in their demographic. As a result of this biological fact, we’ve never read or seen anything having to do with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, but we’re continually fascinated by the speed at which this phenomenon has overtaken the zeitgeist. Compare the paths both Watchmen and Twilight took to get to the silver screen. Alan Moore’s graphic novel was released over 20 years ago, was in development hell for nearly two decades, cost over $150 million dollars to finally make into a feature film and will end up losing barrels of money. Meanwhile, Twilight came out in 2005, was made on the cheap for under $40 million a few years later and has totaled $370 million in worldwide box office receipts to date. Talk about bang for your buck!
Naturally things move fast when you’re dealing with teenage girls—the sequel, New Moon, is already being shot and is somehow on track for a November 20th release—so the news that the third film in the series, Eclipse, is being prepped, too, isn’t all that surprising. Rumors last month placed actress Drew Barrymore behind the camera for Eclipse, a story that was met with both head scratching and huzzahs—after all, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke was replaced on New Moon by Chris Weitz, causing some to accuse Summit Entertainment of being sexist. Now, though, it appears Ms. Barrymore is no longer the first choice. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Juan Antonio Bayona is in the front runner position for the job. Eclipse, which apparently deals with a murder mystery and an all-out war between vampires and werewolves (note: the Twilight books seem a long way from Judy Blume, don’t they?), would be The Orphanage director’s second American film, as he’s also working on something called Hater for Universal.
A protégé of Guillermo Del Toro, Mr. Bayona might be better suited for this kind of creature-feature production than Ms. Barrymore. That’s a fair assumption—Ms. Barrymore has one yet-to-be-released feature to her name and could be a lackluster director. But how are female directors going to get any chances if they aren’t allowed to partake in the action? Fact is, you can still count on one hand the number of women that studios are willing to hire to helm pictures—Ms. Hardwicke, Katherine Bigelow, Sofia Coppola and Jane Campion seem to be the limit to their search. Summit had the chance to possibly stick Ms. Barrymore onto that list, too, but instead they appear to be going with the status quo. Maybe after the actress releases her directorial debut, Whip It, they’ll realize the error of their ways. Or maybe they’ll be thanking their lucky stars. Either way, we’re disappointed.
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