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Breaking Dawn Director: Stephen Daldry?

Stephen Daldry to direct Breaking Dawn?

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Academy Award nominee Stephen Daldry could be the next person to direct Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner in the Twilight Saga series.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Stephen Daldry has been nominated for three Best Director Oscars: for Billy Elliot in 2000, The Hours in 2002, and The Reader in 2008. I should add that to date he has only directed three films.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times blog 24 Frames, the powers-that-be at Summit Entertainment believe Daldry might be the right guy to handle vampires and werewolves in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Might. No contract negotiations or anything of the kind thus far.

But why shouldn’t he? After all, he has handled a troubled working-class, teen male ballet dancer; two suicidal characters – one drowns herself, the other throws himself out the window; and a former Nazi guard who has an affair with a young man half her age. Vampires and werewolves should be a piece of cake for him.

Others who have been mentioned as possibilities for the next Twilight Saga installment are two filmmakers with Best Director Oscar nominations in their resume: Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) and Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk), and one Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay Bill Condon* (Gods and Monsters, which he also directed).

Summit Entertainment apparently wants to take the lucrative The Twilight Saga franchise to the next level in terms of artistry. What’s interesting is that Coppola, Condon, Daldry, and Van Sant are all widely divergent talents.

Do the Summit powers-that-be merely want a prestige name, or are they actually looking for someone with a particular vision? If it’s the latter option, then they must be changing their minds quite radically each time they think of a new name. One day The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn is supposed to be a hip, innovative love story; the next, a moody, atmospheric existential drama; the next, a conventional but glitzy affair.

Of the four listed above, I’d say Daldry would be the most interesting, chiefly because he hasn’t been afraid to tackle difficult themes – and Breaking Dawn offers some heavy-duty stuff. (Come to think of it, Van Sant would actually be the best choice, except that his commercial ventures tend to be disappointingly by-the-book efforts. Pattinson, for his part, sounded excited about the possibility of working with Van Sant, telling, “He shoots everything in Portland. He’s good at making it look beautiful. … [Breaking Dawn] is all about teenage love and obsessions. I think Gus Van Sant would be great.”

But then again, if Stephen Daldry is selected as his next director, Pattinson and his fellow cast members should consider themselves very lucky. In his three-film career, Daldry has helped to earn his actors three Oscar nominations (Julie Walters for Billy Elliot, Ed Harris and Julianne Moore for The Hours) and two Oscars wins (Nicole Kidman for The Hours, Kate Winslet for The Reader).

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart Eclipse movie image: Summit Entertainment.

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