It’s been the worst-kept secret in Hollywood for months, apart from maybe Kate Winslet’s Oscar win, but finally it’s been officially confirmed that Dakota Fanning has joined the cast of Twilight sequel, New Moon. You now have permission to squeal with excitement, Twilight fans, or maybe not?!?

The extraordinarily precocious Fanning – no relation to Irish music journo Dave Fanning, I presume – will play ancient and morally ambiguous bloodsucker Jane in the Chris Weitz-directed movie, which had better start filming soon, given that it’s got a November release date.

Jane, of course, is a member of the Volturi, a clan of Italian vampires that Movieblaze knew all about and didn’t have to look up on Wikipedia, honest, *cough*. Immortal peacekeepers that protect the secret of vampirism, they factor into the plot when Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen [Spoiler Alert] takes his massive hair to Italy, moping over the apparent loss of his soulmate, Bella (Kristen Stewart), and yearning for death. Or a new stylist.

The child-like Jane is one of the more prominent members of the clan, and has the ability to create illusions of pain. It seems that Fanning – who has admitted to being a big fan of the Stephenie Meyer novels on which the film series is based – may well be perfect casting for the role.

Other members of the Volturi, including their leader Aro, who can read thoughts once he’s touched the person involved, Marcus, who senses relationships (what a spectacularly useless power, which pretty much sums up the pointless-ness of the Twilight saga actually!), and Alec, who can block senses, have yet to be cast. But expect firm announcements on those fronts very soon, ‘cos you know, it’s out in 6 months!

…also, and please do take this with a rather large pinch of salt, there is word that Drew Barrymore is showing interest in direct Eclipse aka Twilight 3, something which I’m sure will split fan opinion right down the centre. Though I can’t help but feel Weitz will stay on as director considering the release six months after New Moon..thoughts Twilight-philes?