The cast members announced for New Moon, the sequel to Twilight, pack a lot of geek cred – especially for a franchise whose fans are mostly female.
Announced this week by Summit Entertainment, the list of actors playing the vicious Volturi vampires introduced in New Moon includes some actors with surprising geek-media credentials. On the cast list are two actors who played X-Men mutants, one who portrayed Superman’s uncle Zor-El and another who played the werewolf leader in the Underworld films.
That’s one geek-packing posse of vampires.
Actor Michael Sheen may have won recent accolades for his role as David Frost in the Oscar-nominated Frost/Nixon film, but genre movie fans know him best for playing Lucian, the werewolf leader in the Underworld movie series. Now Sheen has been cast in New Moon as Aro, the charming yet creepy leader of the Volturi.
Other Volturi cast members announced this week include X-Men film alumni Daniel Cudmore (as the violent Volturi guard Felix) and Cameron Bright (as Alec, the vampire who has the power to cut off his enemy’s senses). Cudmore appeared as Colossus in X-Men: The Last Stand, and Bright played the young, bald mutant Leech in the same film.
Also cast as part of the Volturi is Christopher Heyerdahl, the actor who played Zor-El, Superman’s Kryptonian uncle, on TV’s Smallville. In New Moon, Heyerdahl will play the apathetic Volturi leader Marcus.
Rounding out the list of Volturi are the previously announced Dakota Fanning as the petite mental torturer Jane; fashion model Noot Seear as the human-baiting Heidi; Sweeney Todd actor Jamie Campbell Bower as the brutal Volturi leader Caius; and Charlie Bewley, a newcomer actor who will play super-tracker Demetri.
And Bower may have some upcoming geek cred of his own, as the actor is reported to be in final negotiations to appear in the two Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, whose battle with Albus Dumbledore is legendary in the Harry Potter universe.
(Since Robert Pattinson is also a Potter movie alum, perhaps his confrontations in New Moon with Bower will involve magic wands?)
Another addition to the New Moon cast announced this week was Native American actor Graham Greene in the role of Harry Clearwater, a leader of the Quileute tribe of shape-shifting werewolves. (Greene’s probably best known for his Academy Award-nominated portrayal as Kicking Bird in Dances With Wolves.)
All of the actors from the original Twilight film, based on the Twilight Saga books by Stephenie Meyer, are returning for the sequel and the third film, Eclipse, which is scheduled to film soon after New Moon wraps up.
Directed by Chris Weitz (About a Boy, The Golden Compass), New Moon is said to have a larger budget than the first Twilight movie. Twilight had a budget of only $37 million, putting it close to the category of an indy film, yet it ended up with a worldwide box office gross of over $379 million, and is among the top-selling DVDs of the year so far. Fans are hoping Summit puts money behind this one, because with shapeshifting werewolves and superpowered vampires, they’ll need extra cash behind this movie for all the special effects – otherwise New Moon will squander away what geek cred it’s earned with this cast.