Summit Entertainment sent out a press release today officially announcing the start of production on New Moon, the second installment of its filmed franchise Twilight, the modern day vampire love story centered on Edward the vampire and Bella the human. As anyone paying attention to movies knows, Twilight hit theaters on Friday and has since made an estimated $35.7 million on opening day making it the largest opening day total for a non-sequel and edges out Iron Man's opening day total of $35.2 million.
The Summit release said nothing of cast, director, release date or an actual start of production date but it did carry a glad-handing quote from book series author Stephenie Meyer saying, "I don't think any other author has had a more positive experience with the makers of her movie adaptation than I have had with Summit Entertainment. I'm thrilled to have the chance to work with them again on New Moon."
We already know stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are signed on for three films and I can only assume the rest of the major players are as well. The question is whether or not they will decide to bring director Catherine Hardwicke back as they have already assigned screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg to continue penning the series as she is the one that adapted Twilight.
My guess is that Hardwicke is out and Summit is going to ramp up production compared to what they did with the first film. No one knew how big this thing had the potential to be and with a little bit extra spent on the sequel there is a possibility Summit could bring the entire general audience into the theater and not only a majority of fans of the book series. After all, vampires and werewolves are something plenty of filmgoers love and considering Summit already locked in the non-traditional 14-year-old girl audience for such fair, getting the regulars into the seats would be highly profitable.