UPDATE: We just received this exclusive statement from Lefevre:
"I was stunned by Summit's decision to recast the role of Victoria for Eclipse. I was fully committed to the Twilight saga, and to the portrayal of Victoria. I turned down several other film opportunities and, in accordance with my contractual rights, accepted only roles that would involve very short shooting schedules.
"My commitment to Barney's Version is only 10 days. Summit picked up my option for Eclipse. Although the production schedule for Eclipse is over three months long, Summit said they had a conflict during those 10 days and would not accommodate me. Given the length of filming for Eclipse, never did I fathom I would lose the role over a 10-day overlap. I was happy with my contract with Summit and was fully prepared to continue to honor it. Summit chose simply to recast the part.
"I am greatly saddened that I will not get to complete my portrayal of Victoria for the Twilight audience. This is a story, a theatrical journey and a character that I truly love and about which I am very passionate. I will be forever grateful to the fan support and loyalty I've received since being cast for this role, and I am hurt deeply by Summit's surprising decision to move on without me. I wish the cast and crew of Eclipse only the very best."
Sounds like redheaded beauty Rachelle Lefevre's sudden departure from the Twilight movie franchise may not be as amicable as everyone wants us to believe.
As Twilight aficionados already know, Summit Entertainment announced last night that fellow ginger gal Bryce Dallas Howard will replace Lefevre as Victoria in the just-about-to-start-shooting Eclipse.
Official reason is scheduling conflicts, but money may be a part of the problem, too...
First up, Lefevre got a hefty pay increase for the vampire franchise's third installment, according to sources.
Then she snagged a role in Barney's Version, an indie flick costarring Paul Giamatti, which she planned to film between the New Moon and upcoming Eclipse shoots.
But then, I'm told, Lefevre's Eclipse schedule with director David Slade was tweaked and overlapped with Barney's Version.
"Summit could have made it work," one source says. "But they saw that they could save a lot of money by recasting her. This could get really messy."
Because Summit could try to argue that they no longer have to pay Ms. Lefevre. However, Lefevre's team believes she should get her money because they feel the studio is the one who caused the trouble by changing the shoot schedule.
Money and Howard aside, Lefevre will certainly be missed, sources said. As one of the older members of the cast (yeah, she's only 30, but remember this is Twilight!), she was, for many of her young costars, the on-set mother hen.
"They'd all come and talk to her about everything," one of the sources said. "She knew all the drama on and off set. And she is one of the easiest people there to deal with. She never complains, does whatever anyone asks, and she has a good head on her shoulders."
Nikki Reed is also making a move...on Paris Hilton's ex. Catch up on the new twosome.