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.”

[rtimage]MapID=1206167&MapTypeID=2&photo=13&legacy=1[/rtimage]

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.”

[rtimage]MapID=1206167&MapTypeID=2&photo=17&legacy=1[/rtimage]

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

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