Summit Entertainment announced that Terminator Salvation's Bryce Dallas Howard will take over as the villainous vampire Victoria in the upcoming third T.i.ight film, Eclipse, replacing Rachelle Lefevre, who played the role in the first film and the upcoming New Moon.
Lefevre says she was unaware that Summit had chosen someone else to play her part in Eclipse. The studios announced Howard as her replacement late Tuesday, saying Lefevre had scheduling conflicts that would make her unable to participate in the production.
"We are incredibly happy that Bryce has agreed to come into the franchise," Erik Feig, Summit's president of worldwide production and acquisitions, said in a statement. "Rachelle brought Victoria to great screen life, and Bryce will bring a new dimension to the character. The franchise is lucky to have such a talented actress as Bryce coming in to fill the role."
However, Lefevre says she was "stunned" and "hurt deeply" by the switch. She said that she was "fully committed" to returning as Victoria and that her involvement in the drama Barney's Version, starring Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman, would only last 10 days. "I turned down several other film opportunities and, in accordance with my contractual rights, accepted only roles that would involve very short shooting schedules," she said in a lengthy statement.
The news shook up the fans of the Twilight series. Some of them are circulating online petitions urging that she return. "I will be forever grateful to the fan support and loyalty I've received since being cast for this role, and I am hurt deeply by Summit's surprising decision to move on without me. I wish the cast and crew of Eclipse only the very best," Rachelle added.
Eclipse begins filming in Vancouver this coming August, Summit confirmed. The film will be released in theaters on June 30, 2010.