Summit Entertainment has announced that actress Bryce Dallas Howard will take over the role of Victoria in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

Actress Rachelle Lefevre, who played “bad” vampire Victoria in Twilight and the forthcoming New Moon, had to pass on continuing the role in the third film because of scheduling conflicts with another commitment.

Eclipse will start shooting in Vancouver in August. David Slade, who also helms New Moon, will direct from Melissa Rosenberg’s screenplay based on Stephanie Meyer’s book series. Eclipse is slated for North American release on June 30, 2010.
“We are incredibly happy that Bryce has agreed to come into the franchise,” said Erik Feig, Summit’s president of worldwide production and acquisitions. “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.”
Howard’s past films include Terminator Salvation, Spider-Man 3, Lady In The Water and The Village. She is repped by ICM and Management 360.

Eclipse’s plot sees Bella in danger as Seattle is ravaged by mysterious killings and she must choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob.

Meanwhile, rabid Twilight fans will see New Moon hit cinemas on November 20.