The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
, the third blockbuster installment based on the popular series of novels by Stephenie Meyer, has cast its first new star-to-be. He is Australian actor Xavier Samuel, and he's no stranger to readers of this blog. Xavier was one of the amazing leads in last year's coming-of-age indie Newcastle
, which was one of my Top Picks
from the Tribeca Film Festival and one of my Top 10 of 2008.
He was one of the young cast members who I had the pleasure to meet, interview, and photograph at the time and predicted would be a big hit if he could land a role here in the States. Now he's done it.
Xavier is set to play Riley, described as a good-looking college student and newborn vampire, who joins villain Victoria?s plot to murder Bella (Kristen Stewart). Hopefully readers of the books and Twi-hards alike will be pleased with the casting choice. Fans are in for a real treat.
I first saw Xavier as a troubled high school student in 2:37
at the 2007 Santa Barbara Film Festival
. Many compared the film to Gus Van Sant's Elephant
. He played another confused teen in Newcastle
. In my review
I wrote, "It?s always hard to single anyone out in an ensemble cast but this film touches the heart more than anything by the performances of Lachlan Buchanan and Xavier Samuel as Jesse and Fergus. Their relationship is both heartening and heartbreaking in turn, and it only works because the onscreen chemistry is so palpable. Their commanding presence says that these guys have a bright future in cinema."
Some pictures of Xavier are posted at the Tribeca 2008 Amex Insider Portrait Studio
will be released on DVD in Region 1 (North America) on August 25.
begins shooting in Vancouver next month. David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night
) is directing. The film hits theaters June 30, 2010.
UPDATE: It was just announced that Xavier's new film The Loved Ones
will be having its International Premiere at the The Toronto International Film Festival, September 10-20. It will screen in the Midnight Madness section. I cover the festival every year and will be attending the screening.