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Lefevre, Summit clash over Twilight recasting - SciFiNow - The World's Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Magazine

Lefevre, Summit clash over Twilight recasting

Both parties release statements over firing of Lefevre.

victoria-hair-twilightThe recasting of Bryce Dallas Howard over Rachelle Lefevre in the upcoming adaptation of Eclipse reached new heights today, as the jilted actress and Summit Entertainment sparred verbally in the press.

In a statement released to Access Hollywood after news of Howard’s casting in her former part broke, Lefevre said that she was “stunned” to hear of the news, and “deeply hurt” by the manner in which the studio chose to handle it. “I was fully committed to the Twilight saga, and to the portrayal of Victoria,” Lefevre elaborated, going on to describe the sacrifices that she had already made to keep the part. “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 ten-day overlap. I was happy with my contract with Summit and was fully prepared to continue to honour it. Summit chose simply to recast the part.”

This is not the first time that Summit has found itself in the centre of controversy over casting in the Twilight series of films. Earlier this year it was consistently reported that Taylor Lautner, who played Jacob Black in the first film, would be recast due to his lack of physical presence. Lautner embarked on a rigorous process of training and exercise, however, and managed to retain the role for the second and third films.

After Lefevre released her statement, Summit immediately hit back, releasing its own statement that categorically denied the actress’s claims and listed its own counterpoints to her grievances. “Ms Lefevre’s representatives were advised as early as April that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was expected to start shooting in early August,” the company said. “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 20 July 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.”

Summit then went even further, describing in detail the reasons for why it felt it was necessary to bring another actress on board. “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.”

Both statements have been included below in full. Lefevre hasn’t replied to Summit’s rebuttal publicly, however, her Twitter page was updated today with a message to her followers, thanking them for their (assumed) words of kindness. “I am so touched by all your responses and feel incredibly blessed to have fans like you. From the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU.”

Statement from Rachele Lefevre:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. —

Summit Entertainment announced the replacement of “Twilight Saga” star Rachelle Lefevre in the series’ third film, “Eclipse,” on Tuesday night – and fans weren’t the only ones surprised by the news — Rachelle was shocked as well!

“I was stunned by Summit’s decision to recast the role of Victoria for ‘Eclipse,’” Rachelle said in a statement to Access Hollywood.

On Tuesday, Summit announced that Bryce Dallas Howard would be taking on the role in “Eclipse,” due in May 2010.

“I was fully committed to the ‘Twilight’ saga, and to the portrayal of Victoria,” Rachelle continued, explaining the turn of events that led to the casting change. “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.”

The star concluded her statement with a regretful tone.

“I am greatly saddened that I will not get to complete my portrayal of Victoria for the ‘Twilight’ audience. This is a story, a theatrical journey and a character that I truly love and about which I am very passionate. 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,” she said.

Rachelle will appear in the series’ next film, “New Moon,” due Nov. 20.

Statement from Summit Entertainment:

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.