Twilight alert! New “Eclipse” director knows his villainous vampires

Director David Slade had plenty of experience with bloodthirsty vampires in “30 Days of Night.” But how will he handle vampire love?

Summit Entertainment has announced that Slade will direct “Eclipse,” the third installment in the “Twilight” saga, due in theaters June 30, 2010. With “New Moon” coming out Nov. 20, there was no way its director, Chris Weitz, could have made another movie so soon. Filming really just got underway this month, after all. So each “Twilight” story will be viewed through very different lenses.

Love her or not, you can thank Catherine Hardwicke for understanding teens and pulling together the Twilight cast that made fans go wild. Weitz may be best known for dreamy fantasy, like “The Golden Compass.”

And Slade? “Eclipse” should be less gory than “30 Days of Night,” in which Josh Hartnett fights bloodsuckers in a remote Alaskan town in the dark of winter. His experience might prove handy for the wolves and the good vs. evil vampire battles that fill “Eclipse.”

Slade has worked with teens before, but not in movies meant for them. In “Hard Candy,” Ellen Page (who went on to “Juno” fame) thinks Patrick Wilson is a pedophile and decides to torture him. Hmm, is that a good lesson for the young “Twilight” fan base?

| Sharon Hoffmann, The Kansas City Star