Handicapping the Breaking Dawn Director Sweepstakes

The "Holy Crap, They Want That Director For Breaking Dawn?" roundelay took another wild spin this afternoon as Stephen Daldry was reportedly added to the group of filmmakers short-listed for the climactic Twilight Saga entry. He joins a formidable crop of talent rumored in one way or another to close the franchise, including Sofia Coppola, Gus Van Sant and Bill Condon. What's to make of all of this? Well, that's where Movieline's Oddsmaking Dept. comes in.

As one observer notes, "Having already gone indie with Catherine Hardwicke, polished/commercial with Chris Weitz and genre auteur with David Slade for the franchise's first three movies, Summit clearly wants a high-end Oscar-prestige filmmaker to handle the fourth picture." Nooooo kidding. But even with more complex material -- likely broken up over two films -- does a high-end Oscar-prestige filmmaker want Summit?

That's just one factor to consider in the updated Breaking Dawn director sweepstakes:

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· Bill Condon

Advantages: Has a natural touch with adaptations and saccharine, tastefully handled melodrama. Could use a blockbuster (and the payday) after the general disappointment of Dreamgirls and producing last year's Oscars.

Weaknesses: Already has his Richard Pryor biopic shooting this fall, which would butt up a little too closely to an extended Breaking Dawn shoot. Not really the guy you think of as The Guy for teenage potboiler intrigue.

Odds: 100-1

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· Sofia Coppola

Advantages: Likely has availability before Somewhere opens this fall. Restores the franchise to its earlier, more feminine sensibility. One of the better observers of moody youthful ennui working today. Regular DP Lance Acord would make Forks look great. Could be perfect for both Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.

Weaknesses: Would require a lengthy pass at Melissa Rosenberg's adaptation, with not a lot of preproduction time. The last time a Coppola closed down a franchise, it didn't go so well. Oh, which reminds me -- Coppolas don't do Twilight. (Or do they?)

Odds: 30-1

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· Stephen Daldry

Advantages: Needs a job. Exquisite with adaptations. Great with young actors. Love it or hate it, hit his last rush job (The Reader) out of the park, under the circumstances.

Weaknesses: Would he sacrifice his three-for-three Oscar-nomination streak for a paycheck? Summit can't really market Breaking Dawn as being "From the Oscar-nominated director of The Hours and The Reader." British.

Odds: 20-1

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· Gus Van Sant

Advantages: Perhaps the greatest arbiter of Pacific Northwest storytelling to ever make films. Least likely to think he's, like, better than this shit. Gets kids. Gets angst. Gets swoony romance, especially of the veiled homoerotic variety.

Weaknesses: Gets swoony romance, especially of the veiled homoerotic variety.

Odds: 10-1

Me? I'm pulling for Gaspar Noé.

· 'The Reader' director Stephen Daldry a candidate to direct 'Breaking Dawn' [LAT]



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