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Summit Entertainment talks to Variety about their success with Twilight and the future plans for Summit Entertainment.
The mini-studio is sticking to its original strategy of releasing and distributing 10-12 films per year, including eight inhouse productions, with a focus on the mid-range films that the majors are less likely to greenlight.
The company is mindful of the pitfalls of shifting an overall strategy for the sake of quick success.
“History’s great for that reason,” says Rob Friedman, who heads Summit along with Patrick Wachsberger. “There are bodies buried everywhere in Hollywood from places that changed their focus once they had some success.”
“When ‘Twilight’ broke out, we got a lot of vampire scripts,” Friedman says, “But ‘Knowing’ has really confirmed that we’re doing a broad range of projects and that we’re not a genre company.”
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The Screen Daily reports that Robert Pattinson is going to be working on a new movie entitled ‘Remember Me’, it will begin shooting this summer.
Pattinson is starring in Remember Me which is shooting this summer in New York while the actor is between Twilight sequels New Moon, which wraps at the end of May, and Eclipse, which starts in August.
Summit co-chairman and CEO Patrick Wachsberger wouldn’t go into too much detail on the plot but described the film as this generation’s Love Story. A female lead is in the process of being cast, while Rachel Getting Married writer Jenny Lumet has finished the latest draft of the screenplay.
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Los Angeles, CA April 22, 2009 — Summit Entertainment announced today that David Slade has been hired to direct THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE from a screenplay written by Melissa Rosenberg. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, the third film in the studio’s TWILIGHT film franchise based on the Stephenie Meyer’s blockbuster book series, will be released theatrically in North America on Wednesday, June 30, 2010. The announcement was made by Erik Feig, Summit’s President of Production.
Meyer stated, “I am thrilled that David Slade will be directing ECLIPSE. 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.”
Feig said, “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. 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.”
Filmmaker Slade came to prominence as a director for his work on 2006′s engrossing film HARD CANDY starring Academy Award® Nominated actress Ellen Page as well as directing 2007′s genre hit 30 DAYS OF NIGHT which opened to number one at the box office its first weekend of release.
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.
Summit Entertainment confirmed to Access Hollywood that the release of Eclipse will be June 30, 2010.
The third film in the series, “Eclipse,” will arrive on June 30, 2010, Summit Entertainment confirmed to Access Hollywood. Sequel “New Moon” is due November 20 of this year.
Moreover, the series now has a name; based on the beloved novels of author Stephenie Meyer, the series has been officially named “The Twilight Saga.”
Chris Weitz will helm “New Moon,” which will see stars Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner reprise their roles. Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, who penned “Twilight,” will adapt both “New Moon” and “Eclipse.”
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The Hollywood Insider is reporting that the merger between the two studios is highly unlikely:
Reports that Summit — the studio behind the Twilight movie (pictured) — and Lionsgate, the makers of the Saw franchise, are discussing a merger have been greatly exaggerated, EW has learned. Following a report yesterday on Sharon Waxman’s new website The Wrap, which revealed that the two indie studios are in fact having conversations about a corporate marriage, a source tells EW that those discussions actually occurred before Summit took the $37 million Twilight and turned it into a $340 million worldwide franchise. Now that they’ve got a real hit on their hands, Summit is going it alone for the time being, with the Dakota Fanning-starrer Push releasing on Friday, and New Moon, the studio’s Twilight sequel, scheduled for a Nov. 20 bow.
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which includes the rights to the Twilight franchise:
Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment are in talks to merge their two companies, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.
The plan, if the deal goes through, is for Lionsgate to buy Summit’s library of six films and the rights to the “Twilight” franchise. Early talks last year involved the merger of only the domestic divisions, under the terms of the reported deal.
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According to HollywoodReporter.com, Summit has found a new way to be rewarded for Twilight. Millions of dollars and a countless number of fans seem enough to put Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, the co-chairmen of Summit Entertainment, on top of the world. But being honored at the Sundance film festival with the second-annual Nielsen Impact Award topped it all. It was awarded for the impact an individual makes on the independent film community.
Wachsberger, who launched the company in 1996, and Friedman, a former Paramount Pictures executive, also credited Summit executives Erik Feig, David Garrett and Bob Hayward for “Twilight’s” monumental success. Its sequel, “New Moon,” is already in preproduction.
Read more at HollywoodReporter.com.
THR: Despite the success, you’re going in a bit of a different creative direction with Chris Weitz directing “New Moon,” the sequel.
Patrick Wachsberger: If you look at “Harry Potter” — or other movies sort of like “Harry Potter,” I shouldn’t compare — but they change director every movie. The second book is slightly different. (There are) new characters and more visual effects. Catherine (Hardwicke) did a fantastic job (on “Twilight”), and there is a naturalistic feel to the movie that she created and we’re going to keep. The first movie was very good, and we hope the second movie (will) be even better.
THR: Will “New Moon” stay in the same $38 million budget range?
Friedman: No. The next one will be higher than that. We believe that the film will naturally be more expensive. Sequels become more expensive, and we have more special effects.
Wachsberger: And locations. In the second movie there is a sequence in Italy.
THR: There is talk that because Edward is out of the picture for much of “New Moon,” there will be elements of the second and third books combined into the second movie.
Wachsberger: No, but Edward is present for the movie.
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