Twilight - the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's teen vampire novels – is to be released early by Warner Brothers as a replacement for the delayed Harry Potter film.

The film's US release was to be December 12th but has been pushed forward to November 21st. It is not yet known if the UK release will follow immediately.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has been pushed back to July 2009.

Meyer is still relatively unknown in the UK but in the US her books create the kind of excitement enjoyed by those of Jk Rowling.

The Twilight film from Summit Entertainment stars Kristen Stewart, recently seen in Into the Wild, and Robert Pattinson, who played Cedric Diggory in two Harry Potter films.

Rob Friedman from Summit explained the changed release date for Twilight, following the move for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

"We saw a unique opportunity to slot in our film, which has been gaining tremendous awareness and momentum over the past several months," he told Hollywood Reporter.

"We by no means are trying to fill the shoes of the incredible Potter franchise for 2008. Rather, we are just looking to bring the fans of Stephenie Meyer's incredible book series the film series as soon possible."

Meyer has said on her website that neither she nor Summit had anything to do with the change to the Harry Potter schedule.

In the US, Meyer's books are highly anticipated. Earlier this month, thousands of fans, many clad in the outfits of Meyer's characters, gathered at midnight bookshop parties.

The reason for this frenzy was the release of Breaking Dawn, the fifth and final part in Meyer's vampire series, The Twilight Saga.

Meyer's Twilight books follow the story of Bella Swan, an ordinary high-school student who falls in love with the "vegetarian vampire" Edward Cullen.

Though Meyer is not yet a household name in the UK she certainly has a growing body of largely teenage fans, who mainly learn about her books through word of mouth.

16/08/2008 17:28:40