By Jean Bentley – MTV.com
Colombian actress Catalina Sandino Moreno has signed on to play Maria in “Eclipse,” the third film in “The Twilight Saga” that’s set to begin filming in less than a week. The Oscar-nominated star of “Maria Full of Grace,” 2004′s drama about a pregnant teenage drug mule, will tackle some decidedly less heavy subject matter a vampire who creates an army of newborn bloodsuckers, including future Cullen family member and then-Confederate soldier Jasper Hale (Jackson Rathbone). Jasper becomes a key member of the army, helping Maria conquer Mexican territories.
Though “Twilight” covered the back story of swoon-worthy teen vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), “Eclipse” delves deeper into the pasts of the rest of his vampire coven. On Wednesday, Jack Huston was announced as Royce King II, the human fiancé of Rosalie (Nikki Reed) who plays a key role in her transformation into a vampire.
Huston and Moreno, who was last seen in 2008′s two-part Steven Soderbergh epic, “Che,” are the latest additions to an ever-expanding cast. Summit Entertainment made headlines last month when they announced the controversial decision to replace Rachelle Lefevre with Bryce Dallas Howard as Victoria, a vampire hell-bent on getting revenge on Edward and his human paramour Bella for killing her partner, James. Xavier Samuel and Jodelle Ferland have been cast as Victoria’s newborn vampires Riley and Bree.
The David Slade-directed “Eclipse” is set to be released next June. Chris Weitz’s installment, “New Moon,” the second film in the series, will hit theaters on November 20. A leaked French trailer for “New Moon” that made the Internet rounds on Wednesday showed the first glimpse of Dakota Fanning as Volturi guard member Jane, but it’s since been taken down