Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 11:29 UK

Howard to play Twilight villain

Bryce Dallas Howard
Like her predecessor, Howard has long red hair

US actress Bryce Dallas Howard is to play evil character Victoria in the third Twilight film, Eclipse.

The screen star will replace Rachelle Lefevre, who took on the role in the first two instalments of the franchise, its makers have said.

Lefevre quit because production on a film with Dustin Hoffman is due to start in another part of Canada at the same time.

Howard's other screen credits include Terminator Salvation and Spider-Man 3.

'New dimension'

Her father is Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, whose films include Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind.

The character of Victoria in the vampire saga is the sworn enemy of the story's heroine, Bella.

Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart in Twilight
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart play Twilight's leads

The first film in the series was released last year, and its follow-up, New Moon, is due to hit cinemas in November.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are the stars of the franchise, which - to date - has proved a box office success.

The third film, also based on the books by Stephanie Meyer, is due to begin production next month and is scheduled for release next June.

A fourth movie based on Meyer's novel Breaking Dawn is also due to be produced.

Summit Entertainment's Erik Feig said: "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."

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