Summit Mulling Best Ways to Turn Fourth Twilight Book Into One Billion Twihard Dollars
Two weeks and $480 million later, Summit Entertainment -- the small indie studio who prior to Twilight mania was best known for modest filmed entertainments like Never Back Down and Sex Drive -- are now left with a two-headed challenge: one, finding a place to stow that obnoxious amount of New Moon money, and two, figuring out the best way to make even more. The series's third chapter, Eclipse, is already in post-production, where it will eventually receive its finishing coat of vampire glitter and be buffed to a high sheen before rolling off the assembly line this coming June. (Yes, June. It will be a good half-decade before you'll not be hearing which team is up or down in the Northwestern Hunky Monster Conference.)
That leaves the series's fourth and final book, Breaking Dawn, considered something of an adaptation challenge for the most explicit nature of its vampy-panky, and for a birthing scene in which Bella's half-breed bundle of terror eats its way out of her, breaking every bone in her body along the way. (If that's not bad enough, it's greeted by Jacob, who marks the newborn as his future lifemate. The fact that he's shirtless only adds to the ick-factor.)
Summit reportedly wants to go the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-route for its last hoorah, and split the book into two, full-length features shot concurrently. It could double an already preposterous take, but it also requires a whole new set of contracts with the series's now megastars, bringing their paydays into the ten-figures. (Which is exactly what happened with the Potter trio.)
There is also the dangling question of a director, and Variety suggests that Chris Weitz seems the logical choice here, having delivered a $50 million, fan-pleasing movie that made ten times that amount in a matter of days. Weitz has already announced that he's ready to put the material behind him to focus on The Gardener, a tiny drama about an immigrant lawn tender living in Los Angeles. The film is ostensibly being produced by Summit, but no deals have yet to be closed, presumably because they are still trying to convince the director to come over to the ("Just two more about the girl and the thing and the werewolf and you can make little Mexican gardener movies 'til you shit grass clippings. What do you say?") sparkly side.
· Summit Ponders Twilight Finale [Variety]