When director Gary Ross opted not to continue with the “Hunger Games” franchise–whether by asking for too much time or money or both– no one sent his face around the web with bold-lettered “fired!” or with a big red X over it. But when Summit moved on from Catherine Hardwicke after the successful launch of the “Twilight” franchise, she was treated as someone who had been unceremoniously dumped.
Then the talented production designer-turned-director director of “thirteen” and “Lords of Dogtown” followed her “Twilight” triumph–remember, she’s the one who set the tone for the entire series and arguably directed the most successful one by casting Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart–with the-rushed, ill-conceived “Red Riding Hood.” (I interviewed her here.)
In need of the right opportunity to hit another one out of the park, Hardwicke is set to direct the romantic dystopian thriller, “The Age of Miracles,” based on Karen Thompson Walker’s bestselling debut novel. Seth Lochhead (“Hanna”) has adapted the screenplay. River Road Entertainment’s founder Bill Pohlad will produce.
After the Earth’s rotation slows down, we follow an adolescent girl and her family as they cope with the what looks like the coming of the end of the world.
Hardwicke recently completed production on another thriller, “Plush,” which she co-wrote with Arty Nelson, starring star Emily Browning, “Twilight” player Cam Gigandet, and Xavier Samuels. She is currently shooting a TV pilot, “Reckless,” from a script by Dana Stevens.
River Road Entertainment has backed some trippy independent films, including Steve McQueen’s “Twelve Years a Slave,” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano and Brad Pitt, to be released in December by Fox Searchlight, which also handled Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or-winner and Oscar-contender “The Tree of Life.” Recent releases include Doug Liman’s “Fair Game” starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, and Robert Kenner’s “Food, Inc.” Previous pictures include Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” and “Lust/Caution,” Penn’s “Into the Wild,” and Robert Altman’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Pohlad is planning to make his directorial debut with John Wells Productions’ “Love & Mercy,” which centers on seminal moments in the tumultuous life of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys.