Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron’s daughter) joins ‘Twilight’ cast

In a move that values box office over prestige, actress Bryce Dallas Howard has joined the Twilight cast. In a controversial move by Summit Entertainment, who pushed out actress Rachelle LeFevre for Howard’s bigger name, Howard will appear in “Eclipse,” the third film in the franchise which is set for release in 2010. A wise move for Summit, but a dubious one for Howard.

Howard, who is the daughter of Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, is a classically trained theater actress, an NYU Tisch graduate, who, from the time I met her at Stagedoor Manor summer camp in the late 90s, seemed destined for acting greatness. I always thought her more Meryl Streep than Megan Fox, but as her recent choices suggest, she is trading in talent for fortune. Her early resume is comprised of rich, character roles, like the part of Grace in Lars Von Trier’s drama “Manderlay,” an intense portrait of race relations in the American South. she also appeared in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller “Lady in the Water” and took a starring role in Shakespeare, playing Rosalind in Kenneth Branagh’s “As You Like It.” Her tastes have changed lately, as her preference for heavy-handed blockbusters such as “Spider Man 3” and “Terminator Salvation” trumps her onetime penchant for high-art. 

From the Guardian:

Spider-Man 3 star Bryce Dallas Howard is to sink her teeth into another money-spinning franchise: she is to play evil vampire Victoria in the third Twilight film, Eclipse, replacing Rachelle Lefevre.

The movie, based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling novel of the same name, is due in cinemas in June 2010.

Erik Feig of series producers Summit Entertainment said: “We are incredibly happy that Bryce has agreed to come into the franchise. 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.”

According to reports, Lefevre is leaving the series because of scheduling conflicts. But what a time to go: the role of Victoria gets significantly more screen time in Eclipse. In this instalment Victoria, who blames dreamboat vampire Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson) and his swooning human inamorata Bella Swann (Kirsten Stewart) for the death of her mate James, creates an army of new vampires to vanquish them.