'Eclipse' pic gets helmer


David Slade is the newest master vampire. The "30 Days of Night" director will take a slightly less gory approach to the blood-sucking brood when he helms "Eclipse," the third installment in Stephenie Meyer's best-selling "Twilight" franchise. Summit Entertainment has signed Slade to the project, which it plans to release June 30, 2010.

Melissa Rosenberg, who penned the adaptations of "Twilight" and its sequel, "New Moon," also will script "Eclipse."

The third book follows heroine Bella Swan as she nears graduation while trying to navigate the dangers of the vampire-werewolf struggle. Mysterious killings turn up around Seattle, a malicious vampire looks for revenge, and Bella's romantic life with Edward becomes complicated.

"I am thrilled that David Slade will be directing 'Eclipse,' " Meyer said. "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."

Added Summit president of production Erik Feig: "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."

Released in late 2008 with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson starring and Catherine Hardwicke directing, "Twilight" has grossed more than $350 million worldwide. The second installment, "New Moon," is in production in Vancouver with director Chris Weitz. It is set for a Nov. 20 release.

Slade, repped by WMA and Anonymous Content, directed the edgy thriller "Hard Candy" in 2005. The British music-video director has also been attached to the Neil Gaiman adaptation "Neverwhere" for Jim Henson Prods. and has been called in to meet on big-budget studio movies like "Wolverine" during the past 18 months.

Rosenberg is repped by UTA and 3 Arts. (partialdiff)