‘Eclipse’ Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know

It might not hit theaters till next year, but we're bringing you all the vital details early!

Nowadays, “New Moon” is tearing apart box-office records like a Cullen feasting on a freshly killed deer. With the [movie id="369195"]“Twilight”[/movie] sequel nabbing the advance-sales record, the biggest single-day record and the highest-grossing midnight showings of all time, fans have to wonder: Can this franchise get any bigger? Fortunately, they only have to wait seven months to get the answer.

Many of the saga’s stars have cited [movie id="420622"]“Eclipse”[/movie] as their favorite of Stephenie Meyer’s novels, and with “30 Days of Night” filmmaker David Slade at the helm, it seems likely to be a very distinctive entry into the blockbuster series. With that in mind (and since we’re always on top of the latest “Twilight” news) we wanted to bring you our cheat sheet for “Eclipse” a little bit early to give you one-stop shopping for all the latest details on what could possibly be the biggest film of 2010.

Let the Race Begin
Summit Entertainment made headlines in February when it announced the release date of “Eclipse” as June 30, less than a year after “New Moon.” At the time, the accelerated pace seemed a bit risky, but fans were cautiously pleased that Edward, Bella and the rest wouldn’t be aging half-decades at a time between films. Taylor Lautner promised a “darker” film , Kristen Stewart said the love triangle will be further intensified , Rob promised that Bella will be treacherous in the flick , and the Cullens themselves are looking forward to kicking some ass .

Flashing Back
One of the most eagerly anticipated aspects of “Eclipse” is the multiple flashbacks we’ll be seeing of Dr. Carlisle Cullen recruiting his “family” as they were set to die decades ago in human form. Jackson Rathbone might have the meatiest backstory as Jasper, and he has filmed scenes where he’s riding horses on the Civil War battlefield, learning lessons that will help the family in battle against Victoria. Oscar nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno plays Maria, the vampire who bites Jasper. Meanwhile, Jack Huston has filmed his scenes as Royce King II, a.k.a. the Scumbag Who Nearly Kills Rosalie, and Nikki Reed can’t wait for fans to witness her tragic backstory. An eager Slade recently celebrated the film’s wrap by leaking the first official photo.

Murphy’s Law
Former Bauhaus singer and “Godfather of Goth” Peter Murphy has filmed a key cameo for the third film, an appearance that delighted fan Billy Burke. When we spoke with Melissa Rosenberg recently, she further explained that the cameo sets up the love/hate relationship between the Cullens and the Quileute wolves.

Here Come the Newbies
Among the new stars onboard are Kirsten Prout as Lucy, Boo Boo Stewart as Seth Clearwater, Xavier Samuel as Riley and so many others. At this rate, the cast of the saga might soon outnumber the audience.

Switching Out Stars
Unfortunately, one of the sad things about “New Moon” is that fans spent the weekend watching Rachelle Lefevre’s final scenes as Victoria, a character who drives much of “Eclipse.” Summit made big news when they announced that Bryce Dallas Howard would be replacing Lefevre . The “stunned” fan favorite went public with her anger over being dismissed. The studio shot back by saying it was “disappointed” in the actress , fans expressed outrage and things became relatively quiet. Lefevre was noticeably absent from the “New Moon” premiere last week, blaming it on a sick dog and claiming she was “too emotional” to attend . We can only hope the drama in “Eclipse” is half as compelling as what has happened behind the scenes.

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

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