Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke has received the greenlight from Warner Bros for her next film, The Girl With The Red Riding Hood.

Leonardo DiCaprio brought the project to Hardwicke through his production company Appian Way, which will shepherd the project with Warner Bros.

Speaking to Screendaily, Hardwicke said the film will shoot this summer in Vancouver after the studio gave the greenlight on Wednesday [March 10], adding that the budget was slightly above the $37m production cost of Twilight.

The director added that she wanted Amanda Seyfried to star but nothing has been signed yet. Seyfried told reporters on the Academy Awards Red Carpet last weekend that she would play the lead. 

“It’s an original idea that Leonardo DiCaprio had of doing a reinvention of the Red Riding Hood fairy tale,” Hardwicke said. “We’re making it a wild, thrilling mystery in this great Gothic fairytale setting. It’s very sexy, romantic and scary. I get to create a whole world.” She added that DiCaprio was “very involved and very excited” with the project.

The director has spent the past five months working on the script with original screenwriter David Leslie Johnson, who also wrote the screenplay for the Appian Way’s Orphan, and Rand Ravich, director and screenwriter of The Astronaut’s Wife. 

Asked to explain why she chose not to direct The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Hardwicke said: “I never wanted to. The only way it could have worked was if I had time to actually dream up some cool stuff that would make me want to do it. But Summit did not want to wait, which I understand.”

Hardwicke’s contract gave her first right of refusal if Twilight earned one and a half times its production costs. It went on to gross $384.9m worldwide. Her relationship with Summit remains strong and she has another project, If I Stay, lined up with the company.

Hardwicke will be in Toronto on March 28 to take part in the Female Eye Film Festival (March 28-28), where she will be the first foreign recipient of the Female Eye Honourary Director Award.