David Slade has been hired to direct The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third in Summit Entertainment’s Twilight series based on the novels by Stephenie Meyer.

Slade has directed 30 Days Of Night and Hard Candy, the 2005 psychothriller that announced his arrival and that of Ellen Page.

Eclipse will be the first in the series to open in the summer as Summit set a June 30 2010 North American release date. Melissa Rosenberg is adapting the screenplay as she did on the previous two films.

Set against a spate of mysterious killings in Seattle, Eclipse finds the central character of Bella played by Kristen Stewart forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob, rivals in a bitter supernatural feud.

With Chris Weitz currently shooting The Twilight Saga: New Moon in Vancouver, speculation had mounted in recent months over who would direct the third episode.

Summit production president Erik Feig admitted the company had “looked long and hard” for fresh blood, finally settling on “a director who has been able to create complex, visually arresting worlds.”

Slade is represented by WMA.