Who Could Have Been in Twilight Cast and Who Got the Role Instead
With its fantastic characters and tales, the Twilight series captured our hearts and ushered in the ideal age of paranormal fiction. Bella and Edward shared heartfelt moments, and we eagerly anticipated the release of each new film. But, what if the original Twilight cast were portrayed by other actors who initially auditioned for it, or were the author’s original choice? Warning, the article has spoilers!
Michelle Trachtenberg lost the opportunity to portray Bella in Twilight.
Michelle Trachtenberg disclosed that she was considered for the role of Bella in Twilight, competing against Kristen Stewart. However, the Gossip Girl star, Michelle, explained that scheduling conflicts became a hurdle as she was on Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the time and the schedules never worked out.
Despite the missed opportunity, the actress revealed that she doesn’t want to dwell on the past and what might have been, saying that if you do, you’re not living in the moment, and you’re looking negatively at what you’re doing now.
Michelle, though, doesn’t regret not starring in Twilight as she already had her vampire role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring as Buffy’s little sister.
Taylor Swift wanted to be in the movie franchise.
Taylor Swift expressed her desire to be part of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, revealing her status as a devoted fan of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. According to director Chris Weitz, who worked on the film, Swift’s agent conveyed her interest, emphasizing that she would be willing to take on even the smallest role. Weitz shared this amusing anecdote during an interview on Ashley Greene’s podcast, The Twilight Effect.
In the podcast, Weitz explained that Swift’s agent conveyed, “’Taylor would like to be in this movie—not because of you, but she’s a Twi-hard.’” Despite the agent’s assurance that Swift could handle any role, Weitz decided not to cast her in the film. The director humorously mentioned that Swift could have portrayed a character in the cafeteria or diner, but the opportunity didn’t materialize. The revelation adds an interesting twist to Swift’s Twilight fandom and her eagerness to be part of the beloved franchise.
Channing Tatum was the screenwriter’s choice to play Riley Biers.
Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg believed that Channing Tatum would have been an ideal choice to play the bad-boy vampire Riley in the third installment of the Twilight series, Eclipse. She expressed confidence in Tatum’s ability to handle the character’s complexities and tragic elements, especially in the crucial battle scenes.
According to Rosenberg, Tatum could beautifully convey the character’s journey, making the audience feel the heartbreak as he realizes his connection to the antagonist, Victoria. Sadly, at the time, he was already working on several other movies.
Cillian Murphy as one of the villains in the franchise.
Initially, Meyer was considering Joshua Jackson for the role of James. However, upon seeing Cillian Murphy, particularly in his performance in the movie Batman Begins directed by Christopher Nolan, she changed her preference, and Murphy became her top choice for the role.
Despite this, the character of the villainous vampire, James, was ultimately played by Cam Gigandet.
Lily Collins auditioned for the role of Bella Swan early in her acting career.
The Emily in Paris actress Lily Collins disclosed in an interview that she went through the audition process before Kristen Stewart to be Bella Swan in Twilight. Collins talked about her early audition experiences and the doubts and fears that come with being a budding performer. Collins underlined her conviction that everything in casting happens for a purpose, even though she withheld specifics on the audition procedure.
Even though Collins was passed up for the Twilight role, she and Stewart ended up playing Snow White in other adaptations. Collins brushed off any talk of competition, expressing enthusiasm for Stewart’s roles and highlighting the support of fellow performers.
Henry Cavill was the original choice to play Edward Cullen, but Robert Pattison got the role.
Stephenie Meyer’s top choice for the role of Edward Cullen in the Twilight films was the Superman star Henry Cavil. Twilight author Stephenie Meyer initially envisioned the Superman star Henry Cavill as the ideal Edward Cullen for the movie adaptations. In 2007, she revealed that the most disappointing thing for her was losing the “perfect Edward” as Henry Cavill was 24 years old at the time which, ultimately, was too old for the role.
Henry didn’t know about this at the time, as he wasn’t even asked to play the role. But later, when he found out that they wanted to cast him for the role, he said that he thought it would have been cool to play Edward.
Vanessa Hudgens was rumored to have auditioned for the role of Leah Clearwater.
There were rumors that Vanessa Hudgens auditioned for the role of Leah Clearwater, the lone female shapeshifter in the Twilight saga. In the novels, Leah has a complex relationship with Bella and plays a crucial role in the werewolf tribe. However, her part was notably reduced in the movie adaptations.
Despite initial speculation, the role eventually went to Julia Jones. Hudgens’ connection to the role remains unclear, but her potential casting and subsequent exclusion from the Twilight franchise align her with other notable actors, who ultimately turned them down. Despite the lack of confirmation, Ashley Greene, who played Alice, expressed her belief that Vanessa would have been great in the role.
Lucy Hale auditioned twice.
Lucy Hale, known for her role in the famous TV series Pretty Little Liars, was a passionate fan of the Twilight book series. Eager to be a part of the cinematic adaptation, she auditioned not once, but twice, for different roles within the Twilight franchise. Her first attempt was for the character Alice Cullen, and despite not landing the part, Hale didn’t let the initial setback deter her. Undeterred, she returned to audition for a role in the sequel, New Moon, this time aiming for the character Jane.
Unfortunately, despite her enthusiasm and determination, Lucy Hale did not secure a part in the Twilight cast. Nevertheless, her persistence in auditioning for distinct roles serves as a testament to the unpredictable and competitive nature of the casting process in the film industry. It also underscores the journey that actors often navigate, facing both successes and setbacks as they pursue opportunities in the dynamic world of Hollywood.
Tyler Posey was supposed to play Jacob.
Tyler Posey, the actor renowned for his role as Scott McCall on MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” was actually the personal choice of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer for the pivotal role of Jacob Black. Posey shared during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show in January that he was in direct competition with Taylor Lautner for the coveted role in Twilight.
Reflecting on that period, Posey acknowledged that although landing the role would have been a significant career boost, he was only 16 years old at the time and felt unprepared for the intense attention that would come with such a high-profile part. Despite losing out on the role to Lautner, Posey maintained a positive outlook on his career trajectory.
Interestingly, Posey and Lautner were familiar with each other, having crossed paths at numerous auditions. Posey discovered he hadn’t secured the role of Jacob from Lautner himself when they met again at a subsequent audition after the completion of Twilight filming.
Tyler Posey eventually found his werewolf stride by securing the lead role of Scott McCall in Teen Wolf, which ran successfully from 2011 to 2017. While he might have missed out on the Twilight fame, Posey’s journey led him to become a prominent figure in the supernatural TV genre.
Shiloh Fernandez didn’t win Edward’s role because he didn’t pass the chemistry test.
Shiloh Fernandez, one of the four contenders for the role of Edward in Twilight, underwent a chemistry test with Kristen Stewart, the chosen Bella, at director Catherine Hardwicke’s home. Even though Fernandez signed contracts, had a screen test, and initially showed enthusiasm for the job, he subsequently acknowledged that he wasn’t psychologically ready for the character’s possible success. He confessed to being nervous throughout the chemistry exam and admitted to not having a connection with Stewart.
In an interview with Interview magazine in 2010, Fernandez mentioned how close he was to landing the part, but he also stressed that he didn’t think he was the proper fit for it at the time. In a 2011 interview with Wonderland magazine, he expressed satisfaction at not getting the part.
Fortunately, things took a positive turn for Fernandez when Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke later cast him as Peter, the love interest of Amanda Seyfried in Red Riding Hood. This time, the chemistry on-screen was more palpable, and Fernandez expressed gratitude to Hardwicke for the opportunity, describing their collaboration as a perfect match.
Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Bella.
Jennifer Lawrence isn’t upset about not getting a part in Twilight. She auditioned to play Bella Swan in the franchise, but didn’t even get a call back. In a recent interview, she said, “They turned me down immediately. I didn’t even get a callback. But my life would’ve been totally different. I got ‘Hunger Games’ I think, like, a year later. It was probably after ‘Winter’s Bone.’”
Looking back, Lawrence shared, “I was still in a franchise, so I was still trying to counteract the franchise-ness. I’d still be doing that if I was in ‘Twilight.’ But I almost didn’t do ‘Hunger Games’ because ‘Twilight’ had come out, and that fandom had happened.”
Talking about fame, she explained, “When I was trying to talk to people about making this decision after [‘Hunger Games’] got offered to me, it was hard to explain to people... this level of fame,” Lawrence said. “I assumed it was going to be the ‘Twilight’ level of fame, and that was never something I had in mind. I never wanted to be the most famous person on the planet. That’s a very different life than I pictured for me.”
Taylor Lautner almost didn’t make it for New Moon.
An intriguing casting idea for Michael Copon’s role as Jacob in New Moon almost made it to production. The reasoning for the possible alteration was Jacob’s aging process, even if there are risks involved when recasting a major character in a franchise. Jacob was meant to age organically, not like the eternal seventeen-year-old he depicted. But Jacob’s actor, Taylor Lautner, remained youthful-looking, which presented a problem for the plot.
Prematurely announcing the recasting, studio executives stated they wanted to cast Michael as the new Jacob, which led to a great deal of uncertainty. Although this move’s veracity is yet unknown, it may have been a PR gimmick. It is, nonetheless, reasonable to think about recasting to represent an “older” Jacob. The problem was solved by concentrating on improving Taylor Lautner’s body to match the character’s evolution. They gave Taylor Lautner more muscle to flaunt his toned physique.
Edward could have been played by Dustin Milligan as well.
Known for his work on 90210, Dustin Milligan tried out for the role of Edward Cullen in Twilight, but he made a lighthearted comment about how his lack of a British accent cost him the part. Even though Edward didn’t have an accent in the film, Milligan recognized Robert Pattinson’s success and gave his British voice some of the credit.
Kristen Stewart, his co-star in The Messengers and In the Land of Women, was complimented by Milligan, who also noted her brilliance and projected that she would have success outside of the Twilight franchise.
James Franco as an extra vampire.
Breaking Dawn director Bill Condon revealed that he considered casting James Franco as a vampire extra in the film. However, Condon changed his mind due to Franco’s high profile, fearing it would make his presence in the movie too conspicuous. Condon explained that involving Franco in such a role would have required him to be on set for an extended period, creating a challenge in scenes with a large number of people.
Franco had expressed his interest in being part of Breaking Dawn, hoping to incorporate his performance into a multimedia project related to the Twilight phenomenon. This idea stemmed from his collaboration on an autobiographical play about staging a theatrical production of Twilight, in which he was a character.
Twilight fans had a pretty interesting choice for the role of Jasper.
While Meyer never specifically mentioned her choices for the roles of Jasper Hale or Esme Cullen, she did acknowledge some of her favorite ones which were suggested by her fans. Among these, Ian Somerhalder emerged as one of the most popular suggestions. It’s worth noting that Somerhalder was only recommended by fans and wasn’t officially considered for the film.
Interestingly, in 2009, he secured the role of Damon in the drama supernatural series The Vampire Diaries, a role that eventually catapulted him to greater fame than a potential role in the Twilight cast might have secured.
Even though what we saw on screen was beautiful, this film series is also packed with little details that make the whole story even more special. Here are some things you might have missed while watching the Twilight franchise.