May 12 update
Kellan Lutz as Emmett Cullen, Peter Facinelli as Dr. Carlisle, Jackson Rathbone as Jasper, and Robert Pattinson as Edward in David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (top); Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen, Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan in Chris Weitz's The Twilight Saga: New Moon (bottom)
Kellan Lutz and Ashley Greene have been demanding $4 million each for each of the two The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn movies, according to several unnamed EW.com sources. In the same article, however, another source is cited claiming the performers want to be paid $1 million “or more” each. That's quite a gap between “sources.” Which one do you believe?
Summit hasn't been talking – at least officially.
As per the report, Lutz (Emmett Cullen), Greene (Alice Cullen), Jackson Rathbone (Jasper), and Nikki Reed (Rosalie) had initially banded together to demand more money. Their rationale was that they may have fewer lines in the films themselves, but they have to be on the set along with principals Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, and do loads of Twilight Saga-related promos.
And the two Twilight Saga movies have earned over $1.1 billion worldwide at the box office alone.
EW.com adds that Reed is now apparently close to signing a deal within the $750,000-$1 million range for the role of Rosalie Hale. Rathbone's fate remains unclear at this stage.
Directed by David Slade, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will open in the United States on June 30. Melissa Rosenberg adapted Stephenie Meyer's bestselling novel.
Photos: The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment); The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment)
May 11 update
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 teaser poster (top); Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser, Peter Facinelli in Chris Weitz's The Twilight Saga: New Moon (bottom)
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner are all set to star in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, to be released in November 2011. Oscar winner Bill Condon has been hired to direct the last installment(s) of the series. And in the image above you can see Summit Entertainment's teaser poster for the film – which says “Part I.”
In other words, a “Part II” is all but inevitable – Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner are already onboard (or nearly there) – despite reports that Summit might want to stick to one single (and long) film because of a salary impasse with several supporting players in the series, most notably Kellan Lutz and Ashley Greene, two of the Cullen “children”: Emmett and Alice, Pattinson's/Edward's vampire “siblings.”
The curious thing about Breaking Dawn's contract negotiations is that in case all recurring Twilight Saga cast members, including its chief supporting players, did sign on – following the first Twilight's unexpected mega-success – to appear in a fourth film in the series, that would be Breaking Dawn Part I.
If such an agreement is indeed in place, then it would be not only pretty weird but quite possibly pretty costly to have one or more actors replace the current recalcitrant players in Breaking Dawn Part II for the very fact that the two movies will be shot back-to-back – so as to save costs.
Imagine if there's a scene featuring Emmett Cullen in a specific setting: one at the beginning of Breaking Dawn; one in the second half of the story. If the two movies are going to be shot back-to-back (or simultaneously, if the same location is needed in both Part I and Part II) and, say, Kellan Lutz is replaced by another actor, would Summit need to have Lutz and his replacement on hand for those days?
Or, if Lutz has indeed been contracted to be featured in one Breaking Dawn movie, would Summit opt to pay him not to appear in either Part I or Part II?
Either choice would be awkward at best.
Twilight fans are surely hoping all parties involved will be able to work this all out.
Pattinson, Stewart, Lautner, Lutz, Greene, and all others will next be seen in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which opens in the United States on June 30.
Photo: The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment)
Click on the photo to enlarge it.
May 11 a.m.
Ashley Greene / Alice Cullen, The Twilight Saga: New Moon
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 $50 millionand 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.