Summit Entertainment has officially confirmed rumors that Bill Condon, screenwriter and/or director of films such as Gods and Monsters, Kinsey and Dreamgirls—not to mention '80s genre fare such as Strange Invaders and Strange Behavior—has been hired to direct The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, the final entry in the massively successful film franchise based on Stephenie Meyer's novels.
Summit president of production Erik Feig said in the official press release, "Bringing Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn to the screen requires a graceful and intelligent hand, and we believe Bill Condon is exactly the right steward, having shown equal and abundant talents of immense creativity and subtle sensitivity."
Meyer herself chimed in, adding, "I'm so thrilled that Bill wants to work with us. I think he's going to be a great fit, and I'm excited to see what he does with the material."
The press release did not indicate whether Breaking Dawn would be subject to either of the trends that studios are currently enforcing on their tentpole pictures, i.e. being filmed in or converted to 3-D or broken up into two parts, although the latter has also been rumored for the Twilight finale.
The hiring of Condon comes following recent rumors that 30 Days of Night's David Slade—the director of the third installment in the series, Eclipse (out June 30)—had run into trouble with Summit over the tone of his film, with reports of reshoots and a change in editors on the project. The studio has sought to dispel those rumors, telling E! Online that it is "very happy with Slade."
Condon himself said in Summit's press release, "I'm very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life on-screen. As fans of the series know, this is a one-of-a-kind book—and we're hoping to create an equally unique cinematic experience."
The filmmaker is perhaps understating the case. Breaking Dawn is the most controversial book in the series, and as reported by CHUD.com last November, its many outrageous plot points—Bella and Edward violently consummating their relationship, Bella's monster baby nearly tearing her apart during childbirth, and werewolf Jacob's unnatural relationship with the child—would present a challenge for David Cronenberg, let alone a more mainstream director like Condon (no word on whether he'll get a crack at writing the thing—regular Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg is back again).
Condon, however, did start out in genre work and has a feel for it, while his efforts on Kinsey and Dreamgirls also show a flair for the sexually provocative and the theatrical, respectively. He'll get a chance to bring all that to the table for Breaking Dawn, while juggling the demands of Summit, Meyer and, most important, the fan base.
What do you think of Condon behind the camera?