Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke remembers the exact moment she decided to say no to New Moon.
"I was in Paris with Rob [Pattinson] and Kristen [Stewart] at dinner and talking to them and it was like, 'Is this really the schedule? Would we really be starting 10 and a half weeks from now?' " Hardwicke told me yesterday in Santa Monica at the launch event for her new book, Twilight: Director's Notebook. "Yes, we would, for various reasons which I respect, but I really thought it would be better for somebody else, who hadn't just been working every day for two years without a day off."
But now, as New Moon filming gets under way in Vancouver with director Chris Weitz, does Hardwicke have any regrets? Read on to find out…
"I'm sad," Hardwicke admitted. "But I would not want to let those people down…I was offered a very nice amount of money, plenty more than I have ever seen or my family has seen. But I wanted to do it only if I was going to make it better than Twilight."
Hardwicke says she keeps in touch with Pattinson and Stewart and is happy to report that they haven't changed much since she first met them. "It hasn't gone to their heads," she said. "They're still really cool. They've got their family and friends who keep them grounded. It's so cool."
Hardwicke also confirmed reports that she's reuniting with Summit Entertainment (the studio behind the Twilight movie franchise) to direct the adaptation of If I Stay, a young adult novel that doesn't even come out until next month.
And earlier this week, it was announced that she's attached to Maximum Ride from James Patterson's book series about a group of kids who are 98 percent human and two percent bird.
Yes, another series with a nice big fan base. Sound familiar?
"I love when people are that excited and passionate about it," she said. "When you do an indie film, you're just hoping somebody will go see the movie and you're trying to stir it up with some excitement. The fact that there already is excitement is great."
(Originally published March 18, 2009, at 3:30 p.m. PT)