‘New Moon’ Release Date Already Set

Twilight: you likely either think of it as a joyous phenomenon or as that annoying itch that just won’t go away. Either way, it looks like not only is it sticking around, but Hollywood is looking to cash in ASAP. Because despite the Twilight movie only hitting theaters one month ago, they’ve already announced a release date for the sequel, New Moon.

Reports were coming in that a sequel was wanted expediently, in fact the rush for a second film is what caused Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke to part ways with the project. Hardwicke would have needed more time than the studio would allow to make the film the way she envisioned it. She has since apparently been replaced by Chris Weitz, director of American Pie and About a Boy. All I’m saying is that if we don’t get video of Edward Cullen getting intimate with baked goods, I’m gonna be disappointed. Okay, okay, he also did The Golden Compass and we saw how well that did.

But, you say, how much time could have Hardwicke needed? Well, “more than ten months” is a safe bet, since New Moon‘s release date has already been announced as November 20, 2009.

Granted, in this day and age it’s not unusual for sequels to come out very quickly, but that time frame is more common in installments two and three. For example, The Matrix released in 1999, and it was four years until the sequels were released. The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions were released in May and November of 2003, respectively, but were shot simultaneously for exactly that purpose. The Saw films have been once per year, but with a few exceptions, there’s not much in the way of a returning cast since people tend to die in horrible ways. And of course, the Harry Potter movies are generally one per year, with this past year being an exception (the release has been pushed back to this summer, rumored to be due to CGI issues that couldn’t be resolved for a November 2008 release).

But in all of these cases, none of the actors had signed on for other projects that could interrupt filming. And we know that at least Kristen Stewart has signed on for a bio pic about girl punk band The Runaways. How is that going to affect her shooting schedule for New Moon? And of course, there’s the ever looming issue of the possible Screen Actors Guild strike.

What do you think? Can they do justice to the book with such a limited time frame? Or do you think they should maybe aim for a summer 2010 release? Do you think Twilight mania will still be around in 2010, or will the world have moved on to another obsession to grasp tightly to its bosom?