‘Breaking Dawn’ Rumored Directors: Who Is The Best Fit?

We break down the pros and cons of Sofia Coppola, Gus Van Sant and Bill Condon.

Though an official announcement that “Breaking Dawn” is coming to the big screen — and Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner along with it — has not yet been made, word has already broken that three Oscar-nominated directors have been approached for the job: Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”), Gus Van Sant (“Milk”) and Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls”).

While Pattinson has already cast his vote for Van Sant , the director that seemed to most excite Stewart and co-star Dakota Fanning when we spoke with them Tuesday is Coppola. So which director would be the best fit for “Breaking Dawn”? Let’s take a look.

Sofia Coppola
Pros: The director of “Lost in Translation” and “Marie Antoinette” has made a career out of exploring human alienation and the difficulty of one person meaningfully connecting with another — and the emotional beauty that occurs when such a connection is actually made. Looked at in a certain light, “Breaking Dawn” is all about alienation and connection: Bella’s guilty feelings about how deeply Jacob loves her; Edward struggling to reconcile his love for Bella with what will keep her safe; Jacob’s rage over his unrequited love and his eventual bond with Edward and Bella’s child. It would be interesting to see Coppola weave a profound film out of these characters’ twisty emotional allegiances.

Cons: We’re not at all sure that profundity is what Summit Entertainment or “Twilight” fans want. We’re doubly uncertain about how Coppola would handle the story’s many action sequences. What’s more, Coppola is also a writer and has scripted all of her feature films, including an adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’ “The Virgin Suicides” and the upcoming Hollywood drama “Somewhere.” Now that she’s established her filmmaking cred and has three Oscar noms to her name, we doubt she’d give up such creative control and work with Stephenie Meyer’s source material and Melissa Rosenberg’s screenplay.

Gus Van Sant
Pros: The “Twilight” books are steeped in the misty, wooded environment of the Pacific Northwest. With films like 1989′s “Drugstore Cowboy” to 2005′s “Last Days,” Van Sant has made the Northwest almost into a character — it’s ambient noises as important as any line of dialogue. In terms of tracking the story’s ever-changing dynamics between groups, family members and friends in “Breaking Dawn” and exploring its often transgressive teen sexuality, we think Van Sant would do a stellar job.

Cons: As is the case with Coppola, we can’t exactly envision Van Sant — a two-time Oscar-nominee with highbrow tastes — taking on such a mainstream work of literature. For a guy who’s been around as long as he has, a hefty paycheck hardly seems enough to convince Van Sant to veer off course and head to Forks, Washington.

Bill Condon
Pros: “Breaking Dawn” features a slew of horror-like elements — including a bloody, supernatural birth scene — and Condon has explored that genre before with “Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh.” He has also dabbled in supernatural subject matter with “Gods and Monsters,” a film about the real-life director of “Frankenstein.” And then there’s “Dreamgirls” — proof he can take established source material and churn out a visually stunning box-office success.

Cons: Will he be free? He’s set to begin filming his Marlon Wayans-starring biopic about Richard Pryor in the fall. There’s no word about when “Breaking Dawn” might begin filming, but will Condon be available?

Who would you like to see direct “Breaking Dawn”? Are you excited about these three possibilities, or do you have other ideas? Let us know in the comments!

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