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Twilight fans weren’t the only ones surprised by Tuesday’s announcement that Bryce Dallas Howard would be replacing series star Rachelle Lefevre in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, opening in theaters June 30, 2010.

Apparently, Summit Entertainment, who produces the Twilight films, forgot to tell Rachelle that she was being recast!

“I was stunned by Summit’s decision to recast the role of Victoria for ‘Eclipse,'” Rachelle said in a statement to Access Hollywood on Wednesday.

Despite Summit’s claims, Rachelle denies that a “scheduling conflict” prevented her from signing up to reprise her role for the thrid film in the Twilight series, which begins shooting in August.

“I was fully committed to the ‘Twilight’ saga, and to the portrayal of Victoria,” Rachelle continued, adding that thanks to Twilight producers, she is now out of other acting jobs. “I turned down several other film opportunities and, in accordance with my contractual rights, accepted only roles that would involve very short shooting schedules. My commitment to ‘Barney’s Version’ is only ten days. Summit picked up my option for ‘Eclipse.’ Although the production schedule for ‘Eclipse’ is over three months long, Summit said they had a conflict during those ten days and would not accommodate me. Given the length of filming for ‘Eclipse,’ never did I fathom I would lose the role over a 10 day overlap. I was happy with my contract with Summit and was fully prepared to continue to honor it. Summit chose simply to recast the part.”

In conclusion, Rachelle wrote:

“I am greatly saddened that I will not get to complete my portrayal of Victoria for the ‘Twilight’ audience. This is a story, a theatrical journey and a character that I truly love and about which I am very passionate. I will be forever grateful to the fan support and loyalty I’ve received since being cast for this role, and I am hurt deeply by Summit’s surprising decision to move on without me. I wish the cast and crew of ‘Eclipse’ only the very best.”

Rachelle will appear in the series’ next film, New Moon, which wrapped shooting last month and will open in theaters November 20.

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