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Anyone feel like it’s 2008 again? Twilight stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are all the rage again with the Edward Cullen actor landing leading roles in Tenet and The Batman, and Bella Swan’s actress recently starred in Charlie’s Angels and Underwater. Stephenie Meyer is finally releasing her long-shelved spinoff book Midnight Sun this summer. Feel free to blast “Supermassive Black Hole” and throw on the dark eyeliner while we talk about behind the scenes facts about the original YA phenomenon, Twilight, twelve years later.
Henry Cavill Was Stephenie Meyer’s First Choice For Edward Cullen
Long before Henry Cavill became a big name for playing Superman in Man of Steel and other DCEU films, Stephenie Meyer’s first choice for the role was Edward Cullen. When the movie was in development back in 2007, the author wrote that Cavill was her “perfect Edward.” Meyer lost out on the opportunity since she was not considering anyone over the age of 21 – Cavill was 24 at the time.
On her website, she did show interest in The Witcher actor portraying Carlisle after realizing Cavill couldn’t make the cut for Edward. Before casting began on Twilight, Meyer had an entire dream cast of her own – including Emily Browning as Bella, Charlie Hunnam as Carlisle, John C. Reilly as Bella’s dad Charlie, and Cillan Murphy as the villain vampire, James.
Jennifer Lawrence Was Considered To Play Bella Swan
This casting decision certainly would have changed the Hollywood landscape a bit. What if Jennifer Lawrence had been cast as Bella Swan instead of Kristen Stewart? Would she not have been able to fit The Hunger Games and X-Men into her schedule and subsequently not pivot to Oscar glory? Who knows how things would have gone.
While on The Howard Stern Show in 2018, J-Law revealed she auditioned for Bella, but “didn’t really know what it was.” When it came out, she realized how massive the role would have been for her career, but doesn’t regret not getting it. The actress was content without the attention of the franchise, until Hunger Games came along.
Kristen Stewart’s Into The Wild Co-Star Helped Get Her Cast As Bella
By the time Kristen Stewart auditioned for Twilight, she was basically an acting veteran. She had starred with Jodie Foster in Panic Room, the family film Catch The Kid and a slew of indie films, such as Into the Wild. She had the resume to nab the part, but it apparently helped that Emile Hirsch recommended the actress to director Catherine Hardwicke ahead of her audition.
In 2008, Kristen Stewart recalled the name of her Into the Wild co-star was mentioned during her audition to Access Hollywood. Catherine Hardwicke and Emile Hirsch knew each other from their work on 2005’s Lords of Dogtown, which was the filmmaker’s second feature film after Thirteen – which also starred Twilight’s Rosalie, Nikki Reed.
The First Twilight Script Involved The CIA And Jet Skis
Twilight went through a number of drafts and studio shifts when it was first being adapted into a movie. At first, Paramount Pictures’ MTV Films label was developing it, and the script had taken a number of creative liberties to become a commercially viable Hollywood film. Hardwicke previously told us here on CinemaBlend that it “veered very far from the book” and she “didn’t like it at all.” As the filmmaker remembers it:
“[Bella] was a track star in the first scene, not an every-girl kind of awkward and clumsy [kid]… she was like a badass, and then it escalated into this whole thing where there were CIA agents on jet skis trying to find the vampires, you know. It really went, ‘Whooooo!’ She was not working for the CIA, but it was a different movie.”
The Director Warned Robert Pattinson Against Dating Kristen Stewart Right After Their Audition
One iconic aspect of the Twilight franchise is the fact that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson actually dated in real life from 2008 to 2012 – the length of the saga’s five-movie run. As Kristen Stewart recently opened up about on The Howard Stern Show, Pattinson was her “first [love].” It was eminently clear to Catherine Hardwicke from the moment the pair auditioned together that there was chemistry between each other, except she was 17 at the time. In Hardwicke’s words:
“And I remember I told Rob, separately, I went, ‘Listen, man, you gotta remember that she’s under 18 and in our country, you can get in trouble! He went, ‘Okay, okay, jeez, calm down!’… It was funny because they were both pretty shy and kind of a little bit nervous and awkward. I said, ‘Okay, let’s go do the biology scene where you guys first meet.’ So we went to my kitchen table for that scene and you could see pretty quickly that they were vibing off of each other.”