MORNING COFFEE: Bryce Dallas Howard Joins `Twilight: Eclipse,’ Replaces Rachelle Lefevre As Victoria

Bryce Dallas Howard is sinking her teeth into a role in the “Twilight” series

Eclipse VampsTwilight fans were surprised by the announcement that Rachelle Lefevre will be replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard in the third movie in the series “Eclipse.”  Lefevre played the role of villain Victoria, who hunts and tries to kill Bella to avenge the death of her beloved James.

twilight evil vampsHoward, daughter of director Ron Howard, is taking over for Lefevre, who played the part in the first two movies, the 2008 smash “Twilight” and the upcoming “New Moon.” Summit Entertainment says Lefevre isn’t returning because of scheduling conflicts. She’s slated to appear opposite Dustin Hoffman in the independent film Barney’s Version, which begins filming the same day as Eclipse. This will be the first time a major cast member has left mid-saga. Howard, who is no stranger to box office smash hits, has appeared in “Terminator Salvation” and “Spider Man 3”.

brycepreggers.0.0.0x0.376x490“We are incredibly happy that Bryce has agreed to come into the franchise,” Erik Feig, president of Worldwide Production and Acquisitions for Summit Entertainment, said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”

Howard is joining the series at the perfect time since it’s in “Eclipse” that Victoria seduces newborn vampire Riley, to be played by cutie Xavier Samuel in Eclipse, due in theaters June 30, 2010. Cameras start rolling in Vancouver next month.

“Eclipse,” which happens to be my favorite book in the series, is based on the third book in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” saga, is scheduled to begin shooting in Vancouver in August. “New Moon” hits theaters November 20.

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