‘New Moon’ director says he might hang it up

Posted by · 9:44 am · November 18th, 2009

Chris WeitzGeez, are the “Twilight” films really so bad that poor Chris Weitz would call it quits?

Of course I’m being facetious.  The real reason Weitz is giving for “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” being his penultimate film, according to MovieMaker Magazine, is the heavy studio influence on “The Golden Compass,” a film the director says he wanted to be his masterpiece, during post-production.

(P.S.: I loved that movie, Chris.)

Anyway, MovieMaker has even sent out a “look what we have!” press release, turning idle conversation into cut-and-dry fact.  At the end of the day, maybe Weitz will keep chugging along.  Then again, it’s difficult to argue with what Weitz actually says about his next project, I guess.

Says the director:

It’s a script by Eric Essen called The Gardener…It’s sort of an homage to The Bicycle Thief. The intention is that we will shoot half in Spanish, half in English, in Los Angeles. On the one hand it’s a very small, intimate story, but its implications are very grand

I’m always looking for my last film, where I can put the brush down, and this is the one…It’s a beautiful story…I feel that I have now spent a decade of my life in training to know how to make films—how to accomplish every aspect of it—and I feel that if I were to do this one film, I’d feel okay just sitting back and reading. I’d really like to read some books.

Bizarre.  Here’s the full press release:

After more than a decade of involvement with some of Hollywood’s most successful films, Oscar-nominated writer and New Moon director Chris Weitz is ready to move on from the movie industry, saying that he’s only planning to make one more film. In an exclusive interview with Phillip Williams for MovieMaker Magazine, Weitz details his journey through the film industry—from his screenwriting debut on Antz, to his disappointment with his own Golden Compass adaptation—and then admits that it’s all about to end.

“Every time I make a movie I’m pretty much convinced it’s the last time I’m going to be able to do it and that really it’s a rather silly occupation to undertake,” says Weitz in the MovieMaker interview. “But I think I have maybe one more film in me.”

Part of the director’s disillusionment with moviemaking can be traced back to his experience with The Golden Compass and the heavy hand of the studio.

“I wanted that to be my masterpiece,” admits Weitz. “Unfortunately, the edit was taken from me and whatever chance I had at that was also taken from me, which is kind of sad.”

The director even knows what film he wants to present as his swan song. “It’s a script by Eric Essen called The Gardener,” confides Weitz. “It’s sort of an homage to The Bicycle Thief. The intention is that we will shoot half in Spanish, half in English, in Los Angeles. On the one hand it’s a very small, intimate story, but its implications are very grand.

“I’m always looking for my last film, where I can put the brush down, and this is the one,” continues Weitz. “It’s a beautiful story… I feel that I have now spent a decade of my life in training to know how to make films—how to accomplish every aspect of it—and I feel that if I were to do this one film, I’d feel okay just sitting back and reading. I’d really like to read some books.”

What else does Weitz plan to do with his free time? “You know, it sounds ridiculous, but I’d really like to be a better surfer,” laughs the director. “I’d like to learn to speak Spanish fluently; I’d like to travel around, live in Italy; I’d like to learn kung fu… It’s nice to make movies, but it’s also really hard.”




→ 14 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

14 responses so far

  • 1 11-18-2009 at 10:09 am

    adam said...

    So basically he made a throw away comment and he will probably make more films.

  • 2 11-18-2009 at 10:15 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Basically.

  • 3 11-18-2009 at 10:31 am

    Frank said...

    I’d love to learn a lot more about his take on the Golden Compass situation, because, although I was unsatisfied with it, I really did think there was a good film in there somewhere.

  • 4 11-18-2009 at 10:52 am

    Mike_M said...

    I agree, there was a def a good film in Compass, I loved the 1st half, but the 2nd half things didn’t work at all. (Cant remember details, saw it a while ago).

    I will be able to voice an opinion on the new Twilight on Friday, after my wife drags me to see it with her…

  • 5 11-18-2009 at 10:55 am

    Encore Entertainment said...

    I really liked the Golden Compass. It was actually one of my seven favourites of 2007.

  • 6 11-18-2009 at 11:21 am

    Brian said...

    The Golden Compass will always be one of my favorite movie going experiences. After it ended and Weitz’s name came up, an elderly woman seated behind us shouted “FUCK YOU CHRIS WEITZ!” at the screen, causing the whole audience to applaud and change the mood from “that sucked” to “this was the best night ever”.

  • 7 11-18-2009 at 11:22 am

    Jamieson said...

    If you happen to come check these comments, Chris, please DON’T hang it up. You have one of the most unique voices in the studio system and it would be a shame to see you walk away.

    Or hell, I’d be glad to see you do some films outside the studio system if you really can’t take it anymore.

    I make a point of seeing every film with your name on it because to me when I see your name on a film I know that I’m going to get something that is unique.

    So please, don’t give it up yet. It would be our loss.

  • 8 11-18-2009 at 12:00 pm

    R.J. said...

    I’m glad there’s more love for “The Golden Compass” out there, I loved that film! I enjoy Weitz’s work, though I’m not rushing out to see “New Moon”, so I surely hope he won’t go through with those plans.

  • 9 11-18-2009 at 12:30 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    I didn’t like Golden Compass at all…blech

  • 10 11-18-2009 at 1:44 pm

    Kevin said...

    Hmmm. Interesting. A tad disappointing, as I’ve always felt that Weitz was a really talented filmmaker who has simply had bad luck with the way studios handle his projects. I felt that The Golden Compass had the potential to be a great film, but it looks like I was right when I suspected studio interference. Interference, unfortunately, is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. Studios have not had confidence in non-traditional films that break the mold as of late, especially in the wake of the Writers Strike, which we are still seeing the ramifications of two years later.

  • 11 11-18-2009 at 2:03 pm

    JJ said...

    Liked ‘Golden Compass’, didn’t love it. And I agree, it had potential to be amazing. But no.

    But I, too, hope Weitz continues to make films. I’d rather flawed Golden Compasses than most dreck that gets released week in, week out.