Chris Weitz will direct ‘New Moon’

chris weitz new moon director

Summit Entertainment has formally named Chris Weitz to direct “New Moon,” the sequel to the box office hit “Twilight.”

He made clear in a press release Saturday that he would treat the next installment of the series with care and respect, preserving the story’s characters and themes.

The “Golden Compassdirector has a proven track record working with a broad range of material dealing with youth-oriented characters, fantasy and action.

“Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer confirmed the news on her official website Saturday morning in a post intended to calm the growing distress among fans who loved the first motion picture adaptation.

There have been conflicting reports about Catherine Hardwicke‘s departure, with some noting creative and other differences. Summit has said it was a matter of scheduling.

According to Variety, Summit plans to begin production on “New Moon” early next year, with a target release date somewhere around the 2009 holiday season. Variety also confirms that screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg will be returning for the second installment, along with stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.