Monday, May 10, 2010

Salary Dispute Holding Up "Twilight 5" Announcement

There are a lot of rumors on this article: 1 or 2 Breaking Dawn movies, recasting, filming in Louisiana. But it's very interesting and The Hollywood Reporter is a good source

From The Hollywood Reporter

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment is working furiously to close the talent deals required to split Stephenie Meyer's fourth "Twilight" novel into two films. But an unlikely roadblock is holding up an announcement -- and could even lead to cast changes for the series' final installment.

The studio is close to finalizing agreements with leads Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, all of whom will get big raises to return for a fifth installment of the vampire romance saga. And director Bill Condon is already signed to film two "Breaking Dawn" movies, which would be shot back-to-back starting in the fall and released in November 2011 and summer 2012, respectively.

But Summit is having a harder time locking in some of the franchise's secondary characters. Deals for Peter Facinelli (who plays Carlisle Cullen) and Billy Burke (Bella's father, Charlie Swan) are done, but we're told the actors who play the Cullen kids (especially Kellan Lutz and Ashley Greene) 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. "We may have a situation where one of them is thrown out on the street to make a point," says a source close to the dealmaking.

So are we headed for a recasting on the final "Twilight"?

There is precedent for such a tactic. After the success of the first film, Summit axed Rachelle Lefevre, who played Victoria, in part because her reps played hardball on money. (Bryce Dallas Howard got the job instead.) Now, two films into the series, even the minor Twilighters (Lutz in particular) have become sought-after stars, so it makes sense they'd want to be paid more for the final film. But we're told that the offers from Summit -- which are said to be at least 10 times what the actors made on the first movie -- were deemed "offensive" given the mega-money the franchise has generated.

Summit declined to comment on the situation. But the studio wants to move quickly to pull the trigger on two movies -- and it isn't afraid to recast if deals can't be reached. Plus, it has even more reason to be concerned about costs this time around. As is typical with blockbuster franchises, the "Twilight" movies are becoming more expensive with each installment. And the leads are going to do especially well if "Breaking Dawn" is split into two parts. The trio were initially signed for three films (remember, this was back when "Twilight" was a low-budget adaptation of a niche YA novel), but in the spring of 2009 -- after the first movie became an international hit -- they renegotiated all their deals so Summit could lock them for a fourth movie.

The studio then realized that "Breaking Dawn," with its 900-plus pages and narratives told from two perspectives, was dense enough to be split into two installments (as Warner Bros. announced it would do for the final "Harry Potter" book). Just one problem: The cast wasn't signed for a fifth movie. They're all huge stars now, with Lautner in particular running up his quote to the $7.5 million range, so another renegotiation commenced.

That meant ponying up big-time for the leads, which will make the final movie far more expensive than the others ("Eclipse," which hits theaters June 30, is costing around $65 million, a figure sure to be dwarfed by the fourth and fifth, even if costs can be amortized by shooting them at the same time). For that reason, Summit is still holding out the option of simply doing one "Breaking Dawn," although multiple sources say they'd be shocked if the fifth film doesn't happen. "This thing is gonna be two movies," one source says. "With or without the cast intact." Meyer has already signed off on the plan to make two, a key hurdle, given the approval rights she has in her deal.

Summit also is eyeing other cost-cutting measures for the final installments. A deal is currently being negotiated to move the production to Louisiana after making the first in Portland and the second two in Vancouver and Italy. Luring "Twilight" would be a huge "get" for the state -- and, given the tax credits, a money-saver for the studio.

"Twilight" has thus far been the rare tentpole franchise made on a non-tentpole budget. It'll be interesting to see the lengths that will Summit go to keep it there. Booting an actor from the final installment of a successful series could be a risky move, though we're betting that as long as their precious Bella, Edward and Jacob return, fans would get over any disappointment.


Anonymous said...

As someone who has associations with E1 Films ( The UK distributor who releases the Twilight films )..There are great elements of truth in this. I can't say what, but let's just hope they all come to an agreement.

ch said...

big disappointment if this is true, it will not be the same with those possible changes... come on summit no more mistakes

Gigi said...

it could be true but at this point and after they already change one mayor character I will like to see them try recast another one so pls cry me a river with all the money they are making it should be no problem to spend some on the talent that got them all that money to start with ...not to mention the fan base is already pi** off with Summit ...As I see it watch out Summit tread with ease..

Anonymous said...

Save the drama for your mama. I don't care, just made the movies, we are NOT getting any younger.

Cindygal said...

Kellan has so few lines that anyone can replace him. They can just get an unknown actor and work$100 0000 or less with the same results. Ashley is a famewhore. I know she plays an almost perfect Alice. She originally wanted the part of Bella. She's lucky that they cast her at all. If she wants to pull the diva card, they can just let her walk. As long as Kristen, Rob, Taylor, Peter, and Billy Burke are in tact, most people won't care. Strange thing is Anna Kendrick is an Oscar nominated actress and I haven't heard a peep about her having problems coming back as Jessica!

However Summit made lots of many on this franchise why wouldnt they want to increase their salaries!!!??!!!

Jenn said...

This is such bull!! Considering how much the studio has made off of these movies, they need to pay the actors! I would be SO disappointed if they changed any more characters! I am already holding back judgement until I see BDH as Victoria! IMO, if they were going to change anyone, it should have been Taylor Lautner, after Twilight. In no way does he evoke Jacob's character, as soon as he opens his mouth I want to smack him! If they are willing to give him over 7 million, they should give the rest of the cast a raise as well. Only in Hollywood!

Toni said...

OMG, give them what they want. Breaking Dawn is going to be the highest grossing film in history. Mark my words.

Anonymous said...

No way, Breaking Dawn is never going to be the next Avatar/Titanic.

Not unless James Cameron directs them, ha.

Little said...

Scummit's made more than a billion dollars on the first two films and they can't give Kellan and Ashley more money? Really?! Everyone signed for four movies and now they've decided to make make five so what's so terribly wrong with them wanting more money for a fifth? NOTHING! The comments on here are totes guys aren't REAL fans or you'd want the cast to stay together. How disappointing for the cast to learn that they have such flakey fans.

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