Twilight Director Refused to Work on the Sequels — Here's Why She Regrets It

Twilight Director Refused to Work on the Sequels — Here's Why She Regrets It
Image credit: Summit Entertainment

The original Twilight director had a noble reason for stepping away from further adaptations, but it didn’t work out as she’d anticipated. Here’s what happened.


  • Catherine Hardwicke directed the first Twilight movie but refused to work on the sequels.
  • Hardwicke felt she was not as excited about the sequel books and wanted other female directors to do them.
  • Despite her wishes, all the following Twilight films were directed exclusively by men.

15 years after Twilight’s release, Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first movie, revealed why she dropped the franchise back in the day. Her expectations from the future of Twilight were not met, though, and now, it seems like the movies could have been better if she stayed in the director’s chair. What really happened back then?

Director Catherine Hardwicke Loved the First Twilight Book

The first Twilight movie created the aesthetic and the visual style that the later installments tried to closely follow — and it was also done by Catherine Hardwicke. The director was happy to work on Twilight because when Stephenie Meyer’s first book came out, she was enchanted. Adapting it for big screens was a dream come true for Hardwicke.

“All the aesthetics and everything is so important to me, that's just the way I live and breathe. <...> I really loved the first book the best, to be honest. It was just fresh, it was original. I never read anything like that. Always I'd read about vampires in dark alleys in London and Paris, and this one, they're in the trees, around in the daytime. They're in high school. I'm like, ‘That's insane!’ I loved it,” the director told ComicBook.

Her love for the first Twilight book made Catherine Hardwicke the perfect choice for the director’s chair. But after the first movie, when she was asked to continue work on the sequels, Hardwicke decided to pass — and it had nothing to do with the original film’s commercial success or critical failure. It had to do with her dreams.

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The Twilight Franchise Failed to Deliver on Hardwicke’s Dreams

For Hardwicke, the first Twilight book was the Holy Grail, and she was honored and excited to work on its adaptation. Seeing how her love for the following books was not that prominent, the director decided it wasn’t her call to develop the consequent adaptations and wanted to make room for those as eager about it as she once was.

“The rest of the books, I didn't just fall quite as much deeply in love with them as I did the first one. So, I was kind of happy to do the first, I wanted to do the first one. My contract said that I could do the other ones, but I didn't want to. But I did want other women to direct the other ones,” Hardwicke explained.

Unfortunately, Catherine Hardwicke’s vision for the future of the franchise didn’t come true. A fan girl herself, she wanted others like her to follow in her footsteps, but the Twilight bosses had other things in mind.

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In the end, the first Twilight movie forever remained the only female-directed film in the franchise after Hardwicke left.

“All four movies after me were directed by men — and both Divergents, and all the Hunger Games. So even though we kind of paved the way, none of the other ones were directed by women,” the director sadly concluded.

In Catherine Hardwicke's eyes, it was a loss — but at least, the male directors who inherited the Twilight Saga from her treated her work with respect and did their best to follow Hardwicke's visual style and aesthetic that made the movies so unique.

Which Twilight Movie Do Fans Love the Most?

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Like any other franchise fans, the Twilight audience loves to discuss their favorite movies — and rank them. In numerous debates on Reddit and other social media, Twilight fans shared their opinions about the films, and we were curious to see which entries they enjoyed the most in light of director Hardwicke’s recent revelations.

Paradoxically, most fans prefer New Moon — the second movie in the franchise. Despite the iconic couple of Bella and Edward being apart for the majority of the film, the audience largely praises New Moon for its great visuals and soundtrack and even suggests that the second movie has the most exciting plot of the franchise.

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From the cinematic viewpoint, fans praise Breaking Dawn — Part 2. The last installment of the Twilight Saga, the co-called BD2 had outstanding visuals and creative solutions. Of course, the great battle between the Cullens and the Volturi (and the genius plot twist at the end) is one of the movie’s most-named pros.

Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight, the original movie, is also named often but for different reasons. The two main strong suits of the first film fans point out are the amazing aesthetic which, though followed, was never quite replicated in the sequels, and the pure nostalgia Twilight brings the old-school fans of the saga.

Sort-Of New Twilight Content Will Arrive (Relatively) Soon

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It has been over a decade since the last Twilight movie was released, and the saga has been borderline radio-silent for all this time. But apparently, that’s about to change: according to THR, Lionsgate is working on a brand-new Twilight TV show!

The project is in its early stages and doesn’t even have a streaming platform affiliated with it yet. Next to no details are known apart from the fact that it exists, but the saga’s fans don’t need more reason than that to discuss the upcoming TV series: they have already been all over it, debating the pros and cons of another adaptation.

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One of the key aspects fans wish to keep in the new show is — you guessed it — the original aesthetic. If Lionsgate listens to its target audience and follows through with it, there are great chances for the TV series to become the new big thing in the community — and also keep Hardwicke’s iconic legacy in a new way.

Let’s hope they do exactly that.

Sources: ComicBook, Reddit 1 & 2, THR