Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Twilight Director Catherine Hardwicke Gets the Boot

If you've been following the Lex in the last couple of days you'll know that Catherine Hardwicke has been booted from New Moon (the sequel to Twilight), and the gears are in motion to find a new director. You can read the full statement here.

The gist is that Catherine will not be directing New Moon due to time constraints. Summit's target date for New Moon is late 2009 or early 2010 (if you're quick, you'll realize that that's only about a year away), and Catherine is apparently unable to get a sequel out there in time. So she's out. So far I haven't heard anything about her resenting getting the boot, but I haven't looked real hard either. I mean, I'm sure she's not real thrilled, but until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume it was a effectively a mutual decision and that there are no hard feelings.

So now Luchina Fisher of ABC News has written an article about this, in what is essentially yet another feminist temper tantrum--channeled through other female wanna-be gurus, yes--against a predominantly male industry. What bothers me is not that they're upset because they liked the movie. Rather, they're upset because Catherine is a woman.

Well, so what? You want to be treated like men, then you don't want to be treated like men. Make up your mind. Twilight is not the first series to have changed directors in the middle. Every James Bond movie since 1995 (and that's six, for anyone who's counting) has been made by a different director, with the exception of GoldenEye and Casino Royale, which were both directed by Martin Campbell. Daniel Craig starred in both the 2006 Casino Royale and the 2008 Quantum of Solace, but these movies had different directors. Nobody's pitchin' a hissy fit over that one.

There are rumors that Catherine was not fired because of time, but because she was "difficult" and "irrational" during Twilight. The commenter went on to say that, "That doesn't mean anything when you're talking about a filmmaker because they all are, but still..." So why bring it up? Not only did Nikki Finke quote it, but Fisher repeated it, adding that "...some industry watchers question whether Hardwicke was treated fairly."

Not one of these women would complain if a male director was fired for being ornery. In fact, they would probably applaud the one doing the firing for finally exhibing fairness in the film industry, or something like that. And I'm not saying Catherine was ornery. All the Twilight cast members seemed to genuinely enjoy working with her. But let's say for argument's sake that she was tough to work with, and that that's the real reason she won't be directing New Moon. So what? If feminists want to be treated like men, they need to stop complaining when their directors are fired for something they wouldn't mind a man being fired for.

But what if timing is the real reason? Nobody seems to believe that. Why not? A year--possibly less--is a quick timeline for a sequel. I could readily believe that Catherine would have trouble filming and completing a movie in that amount of time. With the actors she had and the high expectation she was under, maybe she wanted more time to perfect things. Why is that so hard to believe? These hyper-overreactive women are so sensitive to how they think they should be treated that they can't even consider a logical, non-prejudiced view of this industry.

Then again, what if Summit just didn't like the way the movie was done? That's ok too. That doesn't reflect in any way on Catherine; it just says they think it could be done better with another director. I have absolutely no problem with that.

And maybe it was prejudice and gender discrimination that led Summit to find a new and, hopefully, better director. I'm not denying that it happens. I'm just saying we shouldn't assume it. Hollywood ladies, look at the facts and the statements before you get your undies in a bunch with all kinds of assumptions and implications of blame that no one can or will prove.

Twilight wasn't the best movie I've ever seen. It could have been done so much better. So instead of worrying abaout the sequel and bashing Summit for letting Catherine go, let's just wait for New Moon and enjoy any positive changes that this new director creates, shall we? I for one am willing to take the chance. It's not like we have a choice.


Nala said...

oddly enough, those were my thoughts exactly! I'm actually hoping that this new director does a better job of NOT STRAYING FROM THE BOOK.

Katie Beth said...

Honestly, that didn't bother me so much as the deviation from the story, which I think is different. A movie has to stray a little bit from the book, because it's demands so much visualization that a book doesn't. But it had some flow problems, and it did deviate from the story in ways that I wish it hadn't and didn't think were necessary. And of course, there were scenes that I would have liked to see from the book. :-)