Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are close to finalizing contractual agreements with Summit Entertainment to star in two The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn movies, both to be directed by Academy Award winner Bill Condon. Stephenie Meyer has already given the go-ahead to split her last Twilight novel into two movies.
According to Matthew Beloni’s piece in The Hollywood Reporter, Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner will get much fatter paychecks for their appearance in a fifth film in the series. But Beloni adds that there’s a serious problem with Breaking Dawn Part 2: an impasse between Summit and several of the supporting players in Twilight Saga franchise.
As per Beloni’s piece, Summit has reached a deal with both Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen, Edward’s "father") and Billy Burke (police officer Charlie Swan, Bella’s clueless, obnoxious father — I’m reading Eclipse now; Charlie would be a perfect candidate for a vampire dinner party).
Now, "the Cullen kids" — Beloni singles out Kellan Lutz (Emmett Cullen), recently seen in A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen) "are trying to sink their teeth into bigger paydays that, at least at this point, the studio behind the billion-dollar franchise is unwilling to provide."
Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, New Moon
Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz Breaking Dawn Offer ’Offensive’
As per Beloni’s sources, Lutz and Greene have been offered "at least 10 times what the actors made on the first movie." The offer, however, was deemed "offensive," considering that to date Twilight’s first two movies have grossed $1.118 billion worldwide — not to mention their record-breaking DVD sales, VOD earnings, etc.
There’s already the threat that at least one of the recalcitrant actors will be booted from the series, much like what happened to Rachelle Lefevre, who played the vicious vampire Victoria in both Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight and Chris Weitz’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
Officially because of scheduling conflicts; unofficially because her representatives played hardball on money matters, Lefevre was kicked out of Eclipse. (In all fairness, Lefevre’s demanding more money would make sense, as Victoria plays a much larger role in Eclipse than in the previous two films.)
Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron Howard’s daughter and reportedly the initial choice for the role, replaced the departing Lefevre.
Another concern for Summit is that costs have been going up as well: Twilight had a $37 million budget, as per Box Office Mojo. New Moon’s budget was $50m and Eclipse has cost approximately $65 million according to the Reporter piece.
Breaking Dawn, partly (chiefly?) as a result of Pattinson’s, Stewart’s, and Lautner’s salary increases, should end up quite a bit costlier than any of the previous three films even if shot back-to-back (in fall 2010), as planned, and possibly in Louisiana, where tax breaks would be made available.
The first Breaking Dawn movie will be released in November 2011. The all-but-inevitable second part should be out in summer 2012. Would audiences accept two new faces in the Cullen family in BD2 — or would that throw the series off-kilter, even if only slightly? If so, would anyone care, as long as Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner are back?
The next installment of the Twilight Saga series to hit theaters, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, opens in the United States next June 30. David Slade directed it from Melissa Rosenberg’s screenplay.
Also in the Eclipse cast: Xavier Samuel, Dakota Fanning, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser, Gil Birmingham, Kirsten Prout, Jodelle Ferland, Michael Welch, Cameron Bright, Anna Kendrick, and Catalina Sandino Moreno.
Ashley Greene / Alice Cullen / The Twilight Saga: New Moon picture: Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment.