A Closer Look at New Moon Director Chris Weitz

Will Weitz's background as an actor's director make a difference to the upcoming Twilight sequel?

by | August 17, 2009 | Comments

During our visit to the set of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, we watched from afar as director Chris Weitz ran a seemingly tidy ship. His quiet, polite mannerisms, even during take after take, and his relative expedience moving from one set up to another spoke to a sea change from the type of set Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke reportedly ran: the focused, well-mannered workman vs. the wonderfully eccentric artist. The fans will be pleased, we thought to ourselves. Weitz looks like he knows what he’s doing.

Coming into the project, Weitz’s filmmaking pedigree was already impressive. In the span of just a decade, he’s notched numerous successes under his belt, including an Oscar nomination (shared with brother Paul) for About a Boy; a hand in the successful American Pie franchise; and most recently, the honor of bringing Philip Pullman’s enormously weighty His Dark Materials novels to the big screen, in the form of 2007’s The Golden Compass. But our earliest familiarity with Weitz himself was as an actor in the darkly comic indie, Chuck & Buck, where he starred opposite Mike White’s obsessive man-child as Charlie (formerly known as Chuck), a yuppie record exec trying to put his past (and his childhood buddy, Buck) behind him.

(Because of this, we find Weitz particularly fascinating. Watch Chuck & Buck and you’ll understand why.)

Even more intriguing is the fact that his mother, actress Susan Kohner, notched an Oscar nomination for playing Sarah Jane in Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life. Or that his grandmother, actress Lupita Tovar, was a successful silent film star well known for Mexico’s very first talkie, Santa, and starred in Universal’s Spanish-language version of Dracula.

Producer Wyck Godfrey, speaking exclusively to Rotten Tomatoes, surmised that Weitz’s own acting experience and affinity for actors made for a remarkably comfortable working environment on the set of New Moon: “I think having been in a movie himself and having acted before, he really trusts actors and I think they can really feel that inherently. And as a result, we’ve gotten much more authentic, very natural performances from all the actors.”


While on set, we spoke further with cast members and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg to get their takes on the new director.

Melissa Rosenberg on working with Weitz, who she called a “lovely guy”: “Chris is a writer himself, so I did one or two drafts with him, and was really able to trust him to take it from there, to make any changes that might need to be made for production or for whatever reason.”

Taylor Lautner on Weitz: “What I love about Chris is, the set is very calm and we’re just having a lot of fun making the movie. And then you sit back and you look at the results that are happening, and it looks amazing so far. I’m so excited to see it. And you just sit back and see what’s going on, and you’re like, ‘How are we having such an easygoing, relaxed time making this movie, and it’s turning out the way it is?’ At the same time, the conversations with Catherine — she just related to us so well. So does Chris. They’re both talented directors, and I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to work with both of them.”

Rachelle Lefevre on Weitz: “Chris is much quieter and calmer anyway, he just has a different style, but also he’s come into a world that somebody went through all of that to bring to life. And so I feel like part of the reason he came in maybe a little more quiet was just sort of respect the fact that he didn’t just show up and go, ‘All right guys. It’s Chris Weitz’s Twilight now.’ He didn’t do that at all. He completely respected that somebody else had laid the foundation and he was like, all right, here’s where I’m going to take it within the realm of what’s already been established. And so it’s a different job, you know? It’s something that he’s executing beautifully because we all really feel both directed and respected in terms of what we’ve already done. We love him.”


When he was confirmed to direct New Moon, Weitz wrote an open letter to fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books and Catherine Hardwicke’s film. “I want to write briefly to try to put you at ease,” he wrote, “and to give you reason to hope for and expect the best.”

Now that you’ve seen the first few trailers for New Moon, what do you think, Twilighters? Will Weitz’s dedication to Meyer’s novels serve him for the better? Can a more focused set make for a more focused finished film? And how much of a difference might his ease with actors make in the finished performances we see on screen?

For more on director Chris Weitz including his full filmography, visit his Celebrity page.

To read our recent interview with Weitz discussing the New Moon shoot, click here.

Read Part One and Part Two of our exclusive visit to the set of New Moon!

Tag Cloud

wonder woman IFC Films critic resources sports romantic comedy Trophy Talk Warner Bros. remakes docuseries Alien chucky 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Sundance TV action-comedy Academy Awards Comedy Central Paramount Musicals Hallmark movie james bond Spectrum Originals rt labs technology new zealand christmas movies Comic Book Women's History Month classics See It Skip It scary movies CBS Universal Pictures black cooking MSNBC spanish RT21 nature DGA TV renewals Chernobyl reviews IMDb TV Countdown Pixar National Geographic disaster Reality Competition festivals CNN richard e. Grant italian target Arrowverse superman zombies Oscars Martial Arts Certified Fresh obituary Netflix Christmas movies young adult rotten The Arrangement Red Carpet strong female leads Musical Netflix heist movie Masterpiece hispanic heritage month Marvel what to watch transformers Winter TV streaming Film Festival 2017 Vudu FOX Tarantino superhero aliens free movies Best and Worst independent 2016 Columbia Pictures Paramount Network Exclusive Video canceled NYCC Election revenge based on movie Captain marvel Cosplay Tokyo Olympics Pirates 2020 Nat Geo USA Network DC Comics Hear Us Out crossover Syfy fast and furious Avengers razzies concert The Academy true crime foreign golden globes Sundance anthology Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fresh best DC streaming service women werewolf Country Star Wars casting Black History Month television Tumblr cartoon justice league HBO Max Calendar video on demand Grammys football VOD new star wars movies legend Rocky Rock Lifetime ABC Extras Instagram Live versus marvel comics zombie Year in Review mission: impossible critics dogs Peacock TNT news Anna Paquin Disney streaming service posters japan franchise TCA 2017 dc TBS Black Mirror comics Lucasfilm thriller series Mudbound cancelled TV series Freeform travel Opinion dark anime Sundance Now PlayStation MTV science fiction Heroines Horror Pacific Islander Apple TV Plus dexter book cats elevated horror Marathons Superheroes australia Sneak Peek comic Christmas Disney Toys Travel Channel Britbox History Acorn TV CBS All Access crime robots golden globe awards BET Awards mob marvel cinematic universe docudrama cops Kids & Family universal monsters Nickelodeon LGBTQ Winners TV movies comic books Dark Horse Comics genre San Diego Comic-Con Star Trek spanish language Epix historical drama ITV quibi 90s El Rey PBS vampires suspense Bravo Superheroe AMC Plus 2018 name the review book adaptation Mary Poppins Returns Emmy Nominations Polls and Games nbcuniversal sag awards talk show latino Hallmark Christmas movies ghosts TCM venice Shondaland award winner Schedule The CW Pop Television Academy facebook VH1 documentary 20th Century Fox A24 sitcom Classic Film spider-man ESPN blaxploitation ABC Signature Biopics Teen all-time WarnerMedia lord of the rings child's play Drama 2015 BAFTA HBO Reality Elton John japanese dceu Sony Pictures WGN Shudder FX on Hulu Lionsgate Cannes rotten movies we love live event movies stoner ABC Family scorecard 73rd Emmy Awards parents slasher a nightmare on elm street aapi NBA Marvel Television slashers streaming movies cancelled Fantasy know your critic Tubi Animation TV Land children's TV spy thriller french Music MCU batman Fall TV boxoffice harry potter saw Lifetime Christmas movies toy story 93rd Oscars TCA Winter 2020 24 frames Sci-Fi spinoff Box Office Hulu Adult Swim Pet Sematary cars Stephen King mcc Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Endgame 99% zero dark thirty Nominations BBC popular Mary poppins supernatural Interview natural history Marvel Studios international Cartoon Network Film hollywood teaser romance Esquire BBC One Discovery Channel DC Universe Wes Anderson game of thrones Crackle tv talk 2021 The Purge Fox News singing competition doctor who Trivia gangster TLC New York Comic Con Video Games Disney+ Disney Plus Writers Guild of America Paramount Plus dragons witnail art house USA canceled TV shows DirecTV ID Comic-Con@Home 2021 RT History 71st Emmy Awards adenture sequels trailers laika comic book movies The Walking Dead Comics on TV OWN Emmys godzilla NBC YA Podcast Apple TV+ Universal spain biography monster movies debate worst olympics Television Critics Association war TV One deadpool nfl criterion new york Watching Series 1990s serial killer live action mutant TV directors First Look medical drama comedies The Witch kong Brie Larson screen actors guild blockbuster FX composers renewed TV shows Amazon Prime theme song spider-verse ViacomCBS biopic Amazon Studios YouTube Red cinemax psychological thriller hispanic finale satire films joker American Society of Cinematographers political drama telelvision sequel period drama AMC GoT Disney Channel Starz social media hidden camera LGBT emmy awards kids royal family scene in color TCA Walt Disney Pictures Spike Spring TV Mystery TCA Awards breaking bad Amazon stop motion Quiz The Walt Disney Company First Reviews Awards Tour animated PaleyFest 007 45 Photos Holidays Pride Month pirates of the caribbean Disney Plus rt labs critics edition police drama scary TruTV politics hist Summer high school Holiday cancelled television reboot Food Network festival Valentine's Day diversity GIFs adaptation sopranos Thanksgiving GLAAD Crunchyroll VICE Character Guide stand-up comedy Funimation mockumentary Mary Tyler Moore dreamworks comiccon discovery adventure psycho IFC Song of Ice and Fire SundanceTV toronto Binge Guide SDCC Image Comics Logo jurassic park 72 Emmy Awards Turner 21st Century Fox Western YouTube rom-coms Rom-Com kaiju screenings space worst movies Turner Classic Movies Tomatazos south america feel good Super Bowl SXSW die hard TIFF BBC America blockbusters Ovation video Infographic ratings Broadway rt archives FXX asian-american jamie lee curtis Baby Yoda Rocketman CW Seed Premiere Dates BET OneApp archives CMT Amazon Prime Video Ellie Kemper prank Awards crime drama Family halloween APB indie Apple basketball twilight halloween tv 4/20 king arthur 2019 Set visit Creative Arts Emmys X-Men black comedy king kong Mindy Kaling Action HBO Go crime thriller Pop TV boxing game show binge cancelled TV shows Ghostbusters Showtime indiana jones cults Fox Searchlight E! vs. E3 A&E green book Neflix Trailer President Legendary miniseries Comedy dramedy unscripted YouTube Premium documentaries comic book movie