As reported earlier, Summit Entertainment has found its next "Twilight" filmmaker and now formally locked up Oscar-winner Bill Condon to direct "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn." While none of the stars have signed deals yet, the entire cast including Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner are expected to return. This is possibly one reason the studio has not confirmed whether, as rumored, there will be one or two "Breaking Dawn" films.
“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," said Bill Condon.
The fourth book in Stephenie Meyer's popular series chronicles Bella's most advanced initiation into the vampire world to date, but is also seen by many as the most difficult to adapt of all the best-selling novels. Melissa Rosenberg, who adapted the first two novels, would continue in that role for "Dawn." Stephenie Meyer has already met with Condon to discuss the project. She noted in the release, "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."
Erik Feig, President of Production and Acquisitions, for Summit Entertainment added, "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."
Condon is best known for directing and adapting the box office and critical hit "Dreamgirls" which was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two including Best Supporting Actress for star Jennifer Hudson. The film also won the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy and grossed $103 million at the U.S. box office. The filmmaker won his own Oscar in 1998 for Best Adapted Screenplay for "Gods and Monsters." He was subsequently nominated again in the same category for "Chicago." Condon also received a prestigious Director's Guild of America Best Director nod for "Dreamgirls." More impressive, besides Hudson's breakthrough, he's shepherded Oscar nominations for Ian McKellen ("Gods and Monsters"), Lynn Redgrave ("Gods and Monsters") and Laura Linney ("Kinsey"). And for those concerned about Condon's genre credentials, he's more than happy to discuss directing 1995's "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh" to anyone who will ask. Most recently, Condon teamed up with producer Larry Mark to produce the 81st Academy Awards with host Hugh Jackman. That show received strong critical notices and was nominated for more Emmy Awards than any Oscar broadcast in history.
Upcoming projects for Condon include the potential HBO series "Tilda" starring Diane Keaton and inspired by notorious online entertainment blogger Nikki Finke. Condon will shoot the pilot for "Tilda" before "Breaking Dawn" begins prep early this summer. The fate of the long in the works "Richard Pryor" biopic and the recently announced drama "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is still unclear.
Catherine Hardwicke directed the first "Twilight" which was a surprise blockbuster grossing $384 million worldwide. The follow up, last fall's "New Moon" was shepherded by fan favorite Chris Weitz and made an eye-popping $707 million worldwide. The third chapter, "Eclipse," will hit theaters on June 30 under David Slade's direction.
Production is expected to begin early this fall.