After popular, but not necessarily critical success with the first two "Twilight" films, Summit Entertainment made it clear to Hollywood they wanted to ramp up the quality of the final installment of the Bella Swan saga, "Breaking Dawn." That's drawing closer to reality. Oscar-winner Bill Condon may be in negotiations to direct "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn," but there is no official word from Summit at this time.
The fourth book in Stephenie Meyer's popular series chronicles Bella's most advanced initiation into the vampire world to date, but is also seen by many as the most difficult to adapt of all the best-selling novels. Melissa Rosenberg, who adapted the first two novels, would continue in that role for "Dawn." Stephenie Meyer has met with Condon to discuss the project as well as other possible filmmakers for the project.
Condon is best known for directing and adapting the box office and critical hit "Dreamgirls" which was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two including Best Supporting Actress for star Jennifer Hudson. The film also won the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy and grossed $103 million at the U.S. box office. The filmmaker won his own Oscar in 1998 for Best Adapted Screenplay for "Gods and Monsters." He was subsequently nominated again in the same category for "Chicago." Condon also received a prestigious Director's Guild of America Best Director nod for "Dreamgirls." More impressive, besides Hudson's breakthrough, he's shepherded Oscar nominations for Ian McKellen ("Gods and Monsters"), Lynn Redgrave ("Gods and Monsters") and Laura Linney ("Kinsey"). And for those concerned about Condon's genre credentials, he's more than happy to discuss directing 1995's "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh" to anyone who will ask. Most recently, Condon teamed up with producer Larry Mark to produce the 81st Academy Awards with host Hugh Jackman. That show received strong critical notices and was nominated for more Emmy Awards than any Oscar broadcast in history.
Upcoming projects for Condon include the potential HBO series "Tilda," inspired by notorious online entertainment blogger Nikki Finke. It's expected Condon would shoot the pilot for "Tilda" before "Breaking Dawn" begins prep early this summer. This move would mean the director is also planning on delaying what was thought to be his next "go" picture, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," until after "Dawn" is completed. The fate of the long in the works "Richard Pryor" biopic is still unclear.
Other directors seriously considered by Summit for "Dawn" include Gus Van Sant, Sophia Coppola and Mark Waters. McG, yes, that McG, was also considered, but along with previously reported contenders Stephen Daldry and Fernando Meirelles was never seriously in the mix. Previously, Catherine Hardwicke directed the first "Twilight" which was a surprise blockbuster grossing $384 million worldwide. The follow up, last fall's "New Moon" was shepherded by fan favorite Chris Weitz and made an eye-popping $707 million worldwide. The third chapter, "Eclipse," will hit theaters on June 30 under David Slade's direction.
Summit has not confirmed, but as rumored, the understanding is that "Breaking Dawn" will be shot as two films with the part one releasing during the holiday season of 2011. One would have to guess part two would arrive in the summer of 2012, but that is purely conjecture as no dates have been announced as of yet.
Production, however, is expected to begin early this fall.
Look for more updates as this story develops on HitFix.