Catherine Hardwicke Won’t Return To ‘Twilight’ Franchise

'I'm moving on to other projects,' says director, who wants nothing but the best for 'New Moon.'

SANTA MONICA, California — First, the bad news: In an exclusive interview with MTV News this week, director [movieperson id="82477"]Catherine Hardwicke[/movieperson] confirmed that she will never, ever direct another [movie id="369195"]“Twilight”[/movie] movie.

“I think it’s healthier to have a new person do [each one],” explained Hardwicke, who was recently replaced for the sequel “New Moon” but had some fans holding out hope she might return for the upcoming “Eclipse” or “Breaking Dawn” films. “I’ve loved all the different directors that did the ‘Harry Potter’ [films], because each one had their own cool style and energy, so I think that’s good. And I’m moving on to other projects.”

Now for the good news: With the “Twilight” DVD hitting stores this weekend, and Hardwicke’s “Twilight Director’s Notebook: The Story of How We Made the Movie” flying off bookshelves, the filmmaker won’t be dissing Stephenie Meyer’s mega-franchise on her way out the door. And while she told us that she’s been keeping up on all the latest “Twilight” controversies — many of which go against how she shot the first film — she’s convinced that the franchise is on the right track.

Chris [Weitz] is doing ‘New Moon,’ and although I don’t know him personally, I’ve heard he’s really excited and just diving in,” she said of her successor. “He’s working as hard as he can to make it great, so that’s cool.”

In her book, Hardwicke displays great affection for the distinctive look of Portland, Oregon — but with Weitz taking the franchise to Vancouver, does she think the sequel will suffer? “It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge, because they’re going to try to match Bella’s house in Vancouver — but there are a lot of ways that we do that, movie tricks,” the director explained. “You can rebuild the whole house, and then maybe just go shoot a few wide shots in Portland. They might be doing something like that. Same thing with the high school and with the Cullen house. We’re used to doing that in the movie business; we have to be tricky.”

Speaking of movie tricks, Hardwicke said that should similarly be able to streamline the “Cullen look” she created (as Nikki Reed recently revealed to us ) and gave her blessing to do so. “I think that’s good,” she explained. “I was wondering about Nikki, because it’s damaging to dye your hair blond, and [I knew] that she’s going to keep doing [sequels]. They can make a beautiful wig for her and use it in each of the next movies. I think that sounds good.”

Finally, despite the fact that her “Twilight” avoided CGI whenever possible, Hardwicke told us that she doesn’t share fan concerns over Kristen Stewart’s recent revelation that Bella’s “New Moon” cliff dive will be computer-generated . “Chris is an expert,” she said. “He did the whole $200 million ‘Golden Compass,’ and they had to use a lot of CGI for all the fantasy elements. Every day, CGI gets better and better. So I’m sure they’ll really be working on it, making it beautiful. I’m sure they’ll make it good.”

With plans to move on to the young-adult movies “If I Stay” and “Maximum Ride,” it would be really easy for an outgoing director to bash the “Twilight” franchise and hope the sequels aren’t as successful without her — but the record-setting Hardwicke will have none of it.

“You’re right — maybe I’ll go sabotage them!” she teased. “No, no, no.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Twilight” and “The Twilight Saga’s New Moon.”

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