Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Monday, 15 December 2008

Twilight sequel's director named

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in Twilight (left), with New Moon director Chris Weitz (right)
Weitz (right) said directing New Moon was "not a task to be taken lightly"

Chris Weitz, of About a Boy and The Golden Compass fame, has been named as the director of New Moon, the sequel to vampire hit Twilight.

The announcement followed last week's news that Catherine Hardwicke would not be returning for the next instalment in the supernatural film franchise.

"I am honoured to have been entrusted with shepherding New Moon from the page to the screen," said Weitz.

"I will put every effort into realising a beautiful film," he continued.

The 39-year-old, who left The Golden Compass in 2004 only to later return, said the job of filming Stephenie Meyer's novel was "not a task to be taken lightly".

Werewolf

"The extraordinary world that Stephenie has created has millions of fans," he said.

"It will be my duty to protect on their behalf the characters, themes and story they love."

Twilight, which tells of the romance between a young girl and a dashing vampire, has been a huge success at the US box office.

Producers Summit Entertainment hope to have its sequel ready for either late 2009 or early 2010.

In New Moon, heroine Bella - played by Kristen Stewart - finds a new beau who turns out to be a werewolf.

Hardwicke reportedly quit the production because she felt she needed more time to work on the film.

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