‘Twilight Saga’s Eclipse’ To Be Directed By David Slade

Filmmaker helmed another movie about vampires: '30 Days of Night.'

After months of rumors, speculation and sneakiness worthy of the secret-keeping Cullens themselves, the third “Twilight” movie finally has a director. And if his back catalog is any indication, “Eclipse” is shaping up to be the darkest film in the saga.

[url id="http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/284845/moviemain.jhtml"]“30 Days of Night”[/url] filmmaker David Slade has been given the keys to the kingdom, taking over the franchise when Chris Weitz steps down after this year’s eagerly anticipated [url id="http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/414921/moviemain.jhtml"]“New Moon.”[/url]

Following on the heels of Summit Entertainment’s decision to shoot the two “Twilight” sequels separately but close together in time, a game of musical chairs had erupted over the past few months that included such names as Drew Barrymore , Juan Antonio Bayona and others.

“I am thrilled that David Slade will be directing ‘Eclipse,’ ” “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer said in a statement announcing the director’s appointment. “He’s a visionary filmmaker who has so much to offer this franchise. From the beginning, we’ve been blessed with wonderful directorial talent for the Twilight Saga, and I’m so happy that ‘Eclipse’ will be carrying on with that tradition.”

In sharp contrast with “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke and “New Moon” helmer Weitz, the genre-fave filmmaker has made a name for himself with cold, visceral, often brutal films. Slade’s low-budget debut “Hard Candy” raised eyebrows with its tale of a 14-year-old girl getting revenge on a 32-year-old pedophile — and put “Watchmen” star Patrick Wilson and “Juno” Oscar nominee Ellen Page on the map. The former music-video director then released “30 Days,” starring Josh Hartnett in the blood-soaked comic book tale of an Alaskan town under siege by vampires.

Although some might say the connection makes sense, Slade’s “Night” vampires were so different from those imagined by Meyer that the two movies could be in completely different genres. Twilighters will undoubtedly be curious to learn Slade’s plans and whether he’ll embrace the fiercer tendencies of the Cullen family’s instincts.

“Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Eclipse’ is a muscular, rich, vivid book, and we at Summit looked long and hard for a director who could do it justice,” explained the studio’s president of production, Erik Feig. “We believe we have found that talent in David Slade, a director who has been able to create complex, visually arresting worlds. We cannot wait to see the ‘Eclipse’ he brings to life and brings to the fans eagerly awaiting its arrival in summer of 2010.”

The statement also released an official summary of “Eclipse,” which is again being written by series screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. “In ‘Eclipse,’ Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob — knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella is confronted with the most important decision of her life.”

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

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