"Twilight" co-stars begin tough contract talks

Fri May 14, 2010 1:44am EDT
 
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By Matthew Belloni

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The "Twilight" actors who play the vampire Cullen kids have rejected Summit Entertainment's offer to return for a fourth and fifth movie, thus holding up the studio's plan to send teenage girls into fits of euphoria by announcing that "Breaking Dawn" will be split into two installments.

Kellan Lutz and Ashley Greene are each asking for about $4 million both movies, sources close to the dealmaking said. The negotiations are just kicking into high gear, so the numbers could change.

What are the secondary characters in a blockbuster franchise worth? That's always a tricky question, and especially here, where fans have such a close connection to the material and have come to associate the actors with their parts. On the other hand, "Eclipse" probably won't suffer at the box office in June despite Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre) being recast after playing hardball.

A couple of interesting wrinkles in the negotiation: While lead actors Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner all re-did their deals for huge raises after the first "Twilight" hit big (and are said to be close to deals for No. 4 and 5), Summit did not offer to renegotiate with the Cullens. So their pay for the first three movies has been very low, which would explain why they want to cash in on "Breaking Dawn."

Also, while the Cullen kids don't play a huge role in the second or third books, they're both in "Breaking Dawn" a lot more. That fact is said to be fueling the demands, though Summit won't lock the script for the final movies until it's a 100% done deal that there will be two. So parts could still be minimized or beefed up.

Neither side expects a speedy resolution. Summit wants to move quickly but isn't afraid to recast. Reps for the actors want to make a deal, but don't understand why the studio won't take care of the cast in a franchise that has generated more than $1 billion.

 
<p>Actor Kellan Lutz poses at the Hollywood Life's 11th Annual Young Hollywood Awards at the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California, June 7, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>