“Twilight” had fans lining up the night of its release around the country, and just like with any popular release, Summit Entertainment has jumped on the movie and is planning a sequel, titled “New Moon” due out on November 20th, 2009. Some details about the release have come out over at Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider, stating that any director that has taken the role (rumored to be Chris Weitz), replacing Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, had to be in Vancouver this week to start 12 weeks of preproduction.
Reports have speculated that Hardwicke was fired for being difficult on set, but sources close to her suggest Summit’s aggressive production schedule turned her off. “She’d love to do the sequel if she could do it better than Twilight,” says one. “It became clear that Summit didn’t have those same priorities.”
There will be some changes to the sequel according to reports, like the replacement of Jacob Black, who was played by Taylor Lautner. Reports say that the studio does not want to bring him back mainly due to his physic. They need someone more bulky.
Two sources tell EW the studio doesn’t want to rehire baby-faced Taylor Lautner (pictured) as Jacob, though Lautner’s agent has apparently reached out to the imaging company behind The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in an attempt to demonstrate to Summit how a digitally bulked-up Lautner could work. (Summit says it won’t make a decision until a new filmmaker is on board.)
Originally it was thought that this might be a problem, but according to MTV News, they’re already found a possible replacement.
MTV News can confirm that 26-year-old “Scorpion King 2″ actor Michael Copon [pronounced "COPE-on"] is one of several actors Weitz is considering to play the new, larger Jacob Black. A representative for Copon told us that they’re making a full effort to land the high-profile gig. And in a bit of 21st-century self-publicity, the actor has even recently updated his Facebook status with messages like: “Michael Copon [is] in a Twilight Zone!” and “Michael Copon is the older Jacob Black!”
But no final decisions have been made and won’t be made until a director is secured.
“The casting decision in regards to the character Jacob Black has yet to be made,” a representative told MTV News.
Twilight has been a monster success, grossing $141 million as of this past weekend, so don’t count on it being that hard to find actors and finalizing a director to take on the task of making the sequel.
“We are in a recession,” reminds one Hollywood insider. “It’s a hit franchise. Whoever steps into it is guaranteed a $100 million gross. Everyone wants this movie.” Adds an exec at another studio, “You’d have to have a very high standard for art, hate the movie business, and hate money to walk off this sequel.”