Rachelle Lefevre and Summit Tussle Over Twilight

Almost exactly 24 hours ago we reported that Summit Entertainment had recast the role of Victoria in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse due to a conflict with Rachelle Lefevre’s schedule. She was out and Bryce Dallas Howard was in.

The news came out of the blue, especially considering Eclipse is set to start and wrap shooting before The Twilight Saga: New Moon reaches theaters. As shocking as the announcement was, the aftermath is even crazier.

Rachel issued a statement to Access Hollywood earlier today expressing her shock in being bumped from Eclipse. In her words, she was fully committed to the three-month shoot and deliberately chose a small side role as to not interfere.

“I was stunned by Summit’s decision to recast the role of Victoria for Eclipse. I was fully committed to the Twilight saga, and to the portrayal of Victoria. I turned down several other film opportunities and, in accordance with my contractual rights, accepted only roles that would involve very short shooting schedules. My commitment to Barney’s Version is only ten days. Summit picked up my option for Eclipse. Although the production schedule for Eclipse is over three months long, Summit said they had a conflict during those ten days and would not accommodate me. Given the length of filming for Eclipse, never did I fathom I would lose the role over a 10 day overlap. I was happy with my contract with Summit and was fully prepared to continue to honor it. Summit chose simply to recast the part.”

But wait, it gets better. Cinema Blend contacted Summit for their response to Rachelle’s mostly gracious remarks and fired back this incredibly defensive outline of reasons why they were in the right when recasting the role.

We at Summit Entertainment are disappointed by Rachelle Lefevre’s recent comments which attempt to make her career choices the fault of the Studio. Her decision to discuss her version of the scheduling challenges publicly has forced the Studio to set the record straight and correct the facts.

  • Ms. Lefevre’s representatives were advised as early as April that THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE was expected to start shooting in early August.
  • If Ms. Lefevre was, as she describes passionate,” about being part of THE TWILIGHT SAGA, we feel that she and her representatives would have included us in her decision to work on another film that would conflict with the shooting schedule of THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE.
  • It was not until July 20th that Summit was first informed of Ms. Lefevre’s commitment to BARNEY’S VERSION, a commitment we have since been advised she accepted in early June. Summit had acted in good faith that she would be available to fulfill her obligations both in terms of rehearsals and shooting availability for THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE. We feel that her choice to withhold her scheduling conflict information from us can be viewed as a lack of cooperative spirit which affected the entire production.
  • Furthermore Ms. Lefevre took a role in the other film that places her in Europe during the required rehearsal time, and at least ten days of THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE’s principal photography. This period is essential for both rehearsal time with the cast, and for filming at key locations that are only available during the initial part of production.

  • Contrary to Ms. Lefevre’s statement, it is simply untrue that the Studio dismissed her over a ten day overlap. It is not about a ten day overlap, but instead about the fact that THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE is an ensemble production that has to accommodate the schedules of numerous actors while respecting the established creative vision of the filmmaker and most importantly the story.

The fact remains that Ms. Lefevre’s commitment to the other project – which she chose to withhold from Summit until the last possible moment – makes her unfortunately unavailable to perform the role of Victoria in THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE.

You can almost picture the writer of this prose sticking out their tongue as they hit “send.” Will the Twilight hardcore fans stand by their original Victoria or scorn her for her inappropriate actions as Summit suggests she did? Or do you want to see the verbal brawl escalate?

Though I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other, it is curious to see a studio be so forthright in discussing what should be private matters.

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