Breaking Dawn To Be Split Into Two Movies, Chris Weitz To Direct?

Because you demanded it! Or because one movie isn't enough for all of Breaking Dawn's rib-breaking, belly-chewing, vampire-baby lovin' goodness. Or because The Twilight Saga: New Moon made a metric fuckton of money. Whatever the reason, Summit Entertainment isn't just promising to make a film based on the final book in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. They're talking about making two.

New Moon has earned almost $500m in two weeks, far surpassing the performance of the first Twilight, and Variety reports that Summit is consequently trying to figure out how to make the most of a phenomenon that isn't close to being as burnt out as some speculated it might be. Now the company is looking at taking the Harry Potter route and drawing out the series as long as possible. And, to be fair (more fair than many will be to Twilight) one of the criticisms levied at the novel was that it might have been better served as two books. So: two movies?

(The main criticism levied at the book, however, is that it is bugfuck crazy, and having scanned it I have to agree. I can totally see why Devin at CHUD wants to see this one made faithfully. It is NUTS.)

While a second Breaking Dawn film will probably make a lot of money, it will definitely cost a lot of money. What's a little big studio like Summit to do? Quick, someone call Ryan Kavanaugh! We need his magical Blockbuster Predict-O Algorithm in here, like, yesterday! Splitting the final film into two means renegotiating with both author Stephanie Meyer and the cast, who've signed for only four films. It also changes the deal for screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, and for whoever Summit taps as director for the adaptation.

Right now the company is looking again at Chris Weitz to direct, according to Variety. Summit was talking about backing The Gardener, the smaller film Weitz wanted to do next, but the trade says the company is now putting off committing to that movie in hopes it can get Weitz to come back to Twilight. You've also got to wonder: is Summit now thinking that hiring David Slade for Eclipse, in a fairly transparent attempt to make the series more appealing to boys, was a bad move?