"The Twilight Saga" is continuing to recruit high profile actors for the franchise's latest installment, "New Moon."
First, new director Chris Weitz recruited Dakota Fanning to play the sweet, but sneaky vampire Jane. Now, acclaimed Brit Michael Sheen, who shined in "The Queen" and "Frost/Nixon," is on board to play the leader of the Volturi in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." The Daily Mail reports Sheen will play Aro whose Italian vampire clan is crucial to "New Moon's" storyline and that Weitz "aggressively pursued him."
The paper directly quotes Weitz as saying, "Michael’s role is so important because he’s the head of all vampires,’ he said. ‘Aro is, on the surface, a very gracious and friendly vampire, but beneath that he is a tremendous threat."
Besides the Oscar-nominated dramas on his resume, Sheen knows a little about vampires having starred in all three "Underworld" films as the Lycan (ie, werewolf) Lucian. This time around he'll get to play on the blood-thirsty team.
Sheen's upcoming slate includes the Brit indie "My Last Five Girlfriends," the thriller "Unthinkable" with Samuel L. Jackson and Carrie-Anne Moss, plus Tim Burton's reinvention of "Alice in Wonderland" where he plays "The White Rabbit." He's also scheduled to reprise his role as Tony Blair alongside Dennis Quaid's Bill Clinton in Peter Morgan's "The Special Relationship."
"New Moon" is currently shooting in Vancouver with returning stars Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. It is unclear when the production will move to Italy for those scenes specifically set in that locale.
"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" opens nationwide on Nov. 20.
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