TWILIGHT director Catherine Hardwicke has reportedly been turned down as director of the smash hit vampire film's sequel NEW MOON - despite vocalising her desire to be involved with the project.
The filmmaker scored the biggest debut ever for a female director when the bloodsucking love story shot to number one in the U.S. late in November (08), and was the favourite to take the follow-up movie's helm.
But, according to Hollywood Reporter, bosses at Summit Entertainment - the franchise's studio - have confirmed Hardwicke will not direct the sequel, stating the moviemaker's proposed preparation time did not fit in with their plans to release New Moon in late 2009 or early 2010.
Industry rumours reportedly suggest Hardwicke did not see eye-to-eye with Summit Entertainment during the making of Twilight.
And, in a recent interview, Hardwicke spoke of her excitement about possibly filming the second installment of author Stephanie Meyer's cult books, insisting the movie would be finished by early 2010 - the same time period Summit have slated for the film's release.
She told MTV, "I would say that the film could be finished by the end of 2009, if not the beginning of 2010; cameras could be rolling in about five months. We spent about a year and three months getting (Twilight) ready, between writing the script and casting. We could probably do things a little bit faster this time, but who knows? It depends."