Twilight might have premiered a decade ago (and though part of the cast still sees it as a wild dream), the legacy of the film franchise (and books, of course) lives on. We get that it might seem virtually impossible to picture anyone other than Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen or Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, but, if casting directors would have paid attention to Stephenie Meyer’s original requests, it would have been a reality rather than a possibility.
Back when the Twilight film series was still in production, its mastermind took to the Internet to manifest her choices for actors. “My opinions on the movie matter to no one. I have no influence on what goes on with the movie at all. No one is going to ask who I think should star in Twilight,” Meyer wrote on her website before proceeding to give a rather lengthy and detailed list of what her dream cast for the film would look like, revealing some major game-changers (had they become true, that is).
Though she had plenty of choices in mind for other characters, her pick for Edward Cullen was pretty set in stone. “The only actor I’ve ever seen who I think could come close to pulling off Edward Cullen is [...] Henry Cavill,” she revealed. Despite her initial determination, her references shifted as she updated the list a few years later. “The most disappointing thing for me is losing my perfect Edward. Henry Cavill is now twenty-four-years-old. Let us have a moment of quiet in which to mourn….” she wrote.
Fans did list Rob Pattinson as one of their favorites and ultimately Meyer was happy with the choice. “I am ecstatic with Summit’s choice for Edward. There are very few actors who can look both dangerous and beautiful at the same time, and even fewer who I can picture in my head as Edward. Robert Pattinson is going to be amazing,” she announced when news of Robert’s casting were first confirmed.
As far as Bella goes, Meyer originally intended the character to be portrayed by Ellen Page, Disney Channel star Danielle Panabaker or, her personal favorite, A Series of Unfortunate Events actor Emily Browning. “Just look at those lips! Love her!” she added of her choice. However, despite being quite open for Bella, Meyer did have a firm request. “I will throw myself off a tall building if they cast some lip-syncing, popstar-slash-actress in the role. Just FYI," she revealed.
It’s certainly hard to picture anyone other than Kristen Stewarts in Bella’s shoes, and in the end, Meyer also liked the casting choice. “I’m very excited to have Kristen Stewart play Bella in the upcoming Twilight movie. She’s an amazing actress with experience all across the board—action, horror, comedy, romance, and more," she wrote. “Since Twilight has moments that fit into every one of these genres, I’m thrilled to have a Bella who has practice with them all.”
And for the other characters? For Carlisle Cullen, she originally wanted Charlie Hunnam. John C. Reilly would have been her perfect Charlie, followed by Vince Vaughn and Adam LeFevre. Rachel Leigh Cook would have stepped into Alice’s shoes. James’s character would have gone to either Joshua Jackson or Peaky Blinders's Cillian Murphy. Emmett would have been Daniel Cudmore, and she even called out for a John Stamos cameo as Laurent.
As far as everyone’s favorite werewolf is concerned, Meyer had her eyes set on Steven Strait initially and finally Tyler Posey, after time had passed (thankfully we did get to see Tyler as a werewolf, though in an entirely different universe).
In 2018, we obviously know how the final casting panned out. In the end, Carlisle was portrayed by Peter Facinelli, Charlie was of course Billy Burke, Ashley Greene played Alice, '00s heartthrobs Cam Gigandet and Kellan Lutz stepped into James and Emmet’s shoes respectively, Edi Gathegi became the perfect Laurent and, last but definitely not least, fan favorite Taylor Lautner ended up playing Jacob Black.
Though none of Meyer’s dream cast (revisited and original) did actually become a part of the cast, could you imagine what the movies would have looked it if they had?
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