Catherine Hardwicke began her career as a production designer on films like Three Kings before transitioning into directing with Thirteen. With that auspicious debut, she instantly became one of the premiere female directors in Hollywood and entered the blockbuster arena in 2008 when Twilight became a surprise $390 million hit.
Hardwicke returns to the big screen with Red Riding Hood, a gothic horror adaptation of the classic fairytale that in an odd way might be her most personal project.
“I loved the fairy tale when I was little and made my mother make me a red cloak so I could be Little Red Riding Hood on Halloween for two years straight. So, I guess it’s stirred into my blood” the director told Metro.
“I was excited by this script because it went back to an old less sanitized version of the story. I liked the darkness and thought it was filled with opportunities.”
In Hardwicke’s hands, the film becomes a more frightening tale involving a werewolf as well as a love triangle that should please her Twilight followers. In other words, this isn’t the bedtime story you remember.
“I think fairy tales take complicated childhood fears and emotions and play them out in an extreme way,” explained Hardwicke. “They let children face their fears instead of pretending that’s irrational. So pushing the story slightly into horror wasn’t much of a stretch.”
Following a film that required absolute reverence to the source material to appease squealing fans, the director relished the opportunity to take this classic fairy tale into any direction that she pleased.
“In Twilight I couldn’t stray far because of the fans, but the great thing about a fairy tale like this is that there is no definitive version,” said Hardwicke. “I loved that we could take a story everyone knows and add on layers that no one would expect.”