Actor Micheal Sheen, 40, who made his name with uncannily realistic portrayals of well-known figures in Oscar-winning films The Queen, Frost/Nixon and The Damned United, will get his biggest pay cheque yet, a reported £5million, to star in New Moon.
But he will be hoping the movie brings him better luck than his first foray into the vampire genre, the 2003 movie Underworld, starring Kate Beckinsale, with whom he has a daughter.
They split up during the making of the movie and the actress began a relationship with its director, Len Wiseman.
In New Moon, Sheen will play Aro, the leader of an Italian vampire clan called the Volturi.
Director Chris Weitz confirmed Sheen’s casting to The Mail on Sunday and said he had ‘aggressively’ pursued the actor.
‘Michael’s role is so important because he’s the head of all vampires,’ he said. ‘Aro is, on the surface, a very gracious and friendly vampire, but beneath that he is a tremendous threat.’
The first film, which took £200million at the box office worldwide, spawned Twilight parties and dozens of websites.
The Twilight series of three books sold 27million copies in 37 countries last year, outselling Harry Potter.