Michael Sheen Joins New Moon

ON

“Underworld” franchise star Michael Sheen is returning to the world of vampires by starring in the sequel to the blockbuster Twilight. In The Twilight Saga’s New Moon, Sheen will play 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.”

Sheen, who is best known for such films as The Queen and Frost/Nixon, will join a cast that includes Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning, Nikki Reed, Chaske Spencer, Bronson Pelletier, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon, Tyson Houseman and Jamie Campbell-Bower.

In the film, based on author Stephenie Meyer’s book series, Bella Swan (Stewart) is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen (Pattinson) but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black. Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested.

Summit Entertainment is planning a November 20, 2009 release.