Casting perfectly for a single film is important; casting perfectly for a film that will spawn a five-film saga is vital. Not every casting decision for a film franchise is going to be perfect. Even renowned franchises such as the MCU, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings have actors in roles that didn’t quite suit them or where there was an even more perfect casting decision staring them in the face.
Finding the perfect cast for a film is much harder than most people give these casting director’s credit for. All they have to go off of is the script, the director’s vision, and possibly (luckily for many big blockbusters) the source material. It's even harder when adapting a book series whose fans have been picturing the characters in their heads for years.
Finding the perfect cast after a film’s complete is much more fun, even if it has no real impact. Though films are often recast when remade (A Star is Born) or when sequels are released and the original cast doesn't return (The Girl in the Spider’s Web) it’s fun to still find that perfect cast when there’s no remake/sequel in sight. The Twilight Saga’s cast has been ridiculed and spoofed more than most franchises; some criticism warranted, some not. Fans took to the internet, as they’re known to do, with their ideal picks for who they think the cast of The Twilight Saga should have been.
Without further ado, here are 20 Twilight Fan Castings Better Than What We Got.
20 Rosie Huntington-Whitley As Rosalie Hale
Rosie Huntington-Whitley is more known for her runway walks and magazine covers than for her filmography, but she has three acting entries under her IMDb page; a 2009 short, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Mad Max: Fury Road. Her resume may be short, but it surely consists of some prominent movies. Her modeling career on the other hand, is one of the most prestigious and fruitful in the world.
While Nikki Reed may have been fine in retrospect for the character’s lack of screen-time in comparison to the other Cullen members, a woman with the following of Huntington-Whitley could added a higher profile cast member for the film.
19 Tom Sturridge As Edward Cullen
Robert Pattinson may be one of the few casting decisions the original filmmakers made that most fans are pretty okay with. A certain fan had a different actor they thought could have played the part a little bit better; Tom Sturridge.
Casting him with a certain actress who we’ll touch on a bit later, the On the Road and Far from The Madding Crowd actor has a lot in common with Pattinson himself.
Both men were born in London, both were in the 2004 drama Vanity Fair, and birth dates are less than six months apart.
Sturridge’s career never quite took off the way it should have, something that a leading role in a billion-dollar franchise surely could have helped.
18 David Harbour As Charlie Swan
Since his role as Eleven’s guardian in Stranger Things, Harbour has been branded as one of the best character actors to play a loving and concerned father. Billy Burke is one of the few who many fans actually thought fit the role well, but Harbour would have been such a fun and comedic addition. Many may think that Harbour would be too old to play Bella’s dad; those fans would be hard-pressed to learn that Burke is actually nine years Harbour’s senior.
Harbour has for many years been a supporting actor in films like Suicide Squad, A Walk Among the Tombstones, and End of Watch; another supporting role such as Charlie Swan would have been just perfect for the actor.
17 Angelina Jolie As Victoria
Victoria had already been replaced once, so why not do it again? Rachelle Lefevre played the red-haired vampire who was part of the coven that homes James and Laurent in the first two films, but then was blindsided when recast and portrayed by future Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard for Eclipse.
The books characterize Victoria as a beautiful and strong woman, adjectives that describe Angelina Jolie quite perfectly.
As of late, Jolie has focused her time more behind the camera then in front of it, but having her play the part would have been quite exciting, especially standing next to a vampiric Ben Stiller.
16 Ben Stiller As James
James, while not the most important figure in the saga, was the main antagonist of the first film. When his coven stumbles upon the Cullen’s and Bella playing a pretty athletic game of baseball, he decides that the human will be his next meal, causing Edwards and his family to go to vast lengths to protect her.
While Cam Gigandet may have had the physique for James, Ben Stiller’s rendition of the vampire would have given the character new depth.
Stiller’s dramatic work is pretty scarce, but having acted in film like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Brad’s Status prove he’d be able to handle it. Stiller’s one of the biggest movie stars in the world, so getting him would have been no easy task, but could have brought something unique to the film.
15 Millie Bobbie Brown As Jane
Some might say that Millie Bobbie Brown is far too young to play the millennia old vampire, but the character was turned at the age of 12. Brown would have been far too young during the original films-- she was five during Jane’s first appearance in New Moon-- but she would be perfect now.
The young actress has obtained fame from her portrayal as Eleven in Netflix’s Stranger Things, though look for her soon in the Godzilla sequel, Godzilla: King of Monsters and its crossover event Godzilla vs. Kong. Jane’s supposed to be a mysterious character with an old soul, something that Brown portrays brilliantly throughout the first two seasons of Stranger Things.
14 Shiloh Fernandez As Edward Cullen
Shiloh Fernandez may not be the most well-known actor out there, but then again, neither was Rob Pattinson when he was cast as Edward more than a decade ago. As featured on one of the greatest website names of all time, otherguysasedwardcullen-blog.tumblr.com, Shiloh would have made a great Edward, after some make-up work done to make him look a little less alive.
The Utah-born actor is roughly the right age, and as seen in the picture above, looks quite convincing as a vampire when his eyes are brightened and yellowed, with his skin a bit paler, like most of the Cullen’s.
13 Liv Tyler As Esme Cullen
Though she’s been rather absent from the big screen since playing Ed Norton’s love interest in the MCU’s The Incredible Hulk, she’s still etched in cinephiles minds for her roles in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Strangers, and (less so) Armageddon.
Tyler looks like she was born to play a vampire, and it’s a shame she’s never been given the opportunity.
Esme is a pretty small role in relation to the other Cullens, but Tyler could have maybe brightened up the role a bit, or at the very least, given the family a more familiar feel for viewers.
12 Hugh Jackman As Garrett
The second best cast role in the saga-- we’ll talk about the first in just a bit-- is none other than a small character named Garrett played by the brilliant Lee Pace. Garrett is vampire who joins the Denali coven at the end of Breaking Dawn when he and Kate begin to form a relationship.
The only way that Lee Pace could be outdone is if one of the most beloved actors of our time replaced him: Hugh Jackman.
Jackman spent a movie hunting vampires back in 2004 with the critically berated Van Helsing, so maybe joining them would be more his suit. Classy as all could be, the Jackman above (provided by Nocuus) would have been perfect for Garrett, a man who was changed in mid 18th century New England.
11 Anton Yelchin As Mike Newton
This one, awfully unfortunately, will never be able to come to fruition because of a tragic accident which resulted in Anton Yelchin losing his life at the age of 27. Mike was played by Michael Welch, but Yelchin would have been the perfect age, and perfect casting for the role. Welch actually auditioned for the role of Edward, but ended up being cast as Mike after Pattinson was brought aboard.
The nice guy from high school is more or less exactly who Yelchin was born to play, and imagining him trying to hold Bella’s hand at the movies is textbook teenage romance that feels just right with Yelchin. Yelchin, like Jackman, isn’t a stranger to vampire films, having starred in the remake of Fright Night. Yelchin’s untimely passing came right at the height of his fame, and a Twilight film would have added right to it.
10 Lily Collins As Alice Cullen
Lily Collins actually auditioned for Twilight, but for the role of Bella; “I think everything happens for a reason and everyone who gets the roles they get were meant to.”
Collins has the flowing movement that Greene brought to the performance, but could have come off a bit more authentic in her compassion.
Greene was not been the worst actress in the franchise, but Collins would have potentially been a step up from the unexperienced performer. Greene’s career never took off quite like Collin’s did, which makes the films down the line seem a bit more dated when new viewers can’t recognize the fourth-billed lead; something that casting Collins could have changed.
9 Hugo Weaving as Aro
Michael Sheen wasn’t just the best casting of any of the actors in the franchise with his turn as Aro, but he gave the best performance from anyone, and even liked the source materia, Sheen may have been flawless, but another actor could have the potential to have done better; that man is Hugo Weaving. Though Aro is much younger than both Sheen and Weaving in the novels, both actors are very similar in age.
Like Liv Tyler, Weaving is famous for his part in The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as the Wichowskis' Matrix trilogy. Hugo’s vampire transformation above is a very reminiscent of his Elvish lineage in LOTR, but also extremely similar to Aro’s Volturi attire in the Twilight Saga.
8 Alexander Skarsgård As Emmett Cullen
Either it’s a coincidence that so many of the fan casting decisions were previously in vampire films/TV shows, or there is just an abundance of vampire films/TV shows. Alexander Skarsgård played Eric Northman on HBO’s cult vampire drama True Blood. Though he initially played the show’s antagonist, he was the favorite amongst fans and had far and away the most successful career after the show.
Standing at 6' 4'',the Stockholm born actor has a much more towering physique than Kellan Lutz, who played Emmett in the films.
As he already plays brooding and mysterious extremely well, letting Skarsgård show a comedic soft side would have given the actor the chance to stretch his wings.
7 Rachel McAdams As Rosalie Hale
Rising to fame four years before the first films release with her starring role in The Notebook and near-perfect teenage antagonist in Mean Girls, McAdams has had an incredible career in the 15 years since; including an Oscar nomination for Spotlight. The inclusion of a renowned thespian like McAdams would have been a welcome addition for the filmmakers as well as the fans.
McAdams may be, and have been back in 2008, a little old to play a vampire who was turned at the age of 18. However she played a high schooler at the age of 26 for Mean Girls, so just a few years more later wouldn’t have been much more of a stretch.
6 Henry Cavill As Carlisle Cullen
Henry Cavill may not have been the household name back then that he is now due to his DCEU fame, but Twilight could have been that jumpstart he needed.
Though Cavill may have had a hand in pretty huge blockbusters with Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Mission Impossible: Fallout, he had been in only one mainstream film pre 2010; Stardust.
Had they stayed faithful to the books, Cavill would have been a perfect casting.
With Carlisle being the make-shift patriarch of the Cullen coven, the filmmakers wanted to go with someone a bit older than the character in the books.
5 Amber Midthunder as Leah Clearwater
Leah is the only female shapeshifter in Quileute history, and played by Native actress Julia Jones. Jones is an incredible actress, but newcomer Amber Midthunder has thrusted onto the scene after appearing in Hell or High Water and FX’s Legion.
Leah is 21 in the books, thus Midthunder is the perfect age to play the young woman, if the film were to come out today.
Acting in both Sunshine Cleaning and Swing Vote in 2008, the actress was already in high profile films the same year of the first film’s release. Midthunder’s a fan favourite on Legion, so expect the young lady to take off in the future; who knows, maybe even in a remake of Twilight.
4 Steven Strait As Jacob Black
Taylor Lautner became an overnight sensation with the success of the Twilight films, but no one could deny that the actor’s performance lacked authenticity. Steven Strait may not be any more of a household name than Lautner was, but the actor had already starred in his own film, something Lautner hadn’t done when first cast.
Strait starred in the Roland Emmerich vehicle 10,000 BC, which didn’t get rave reviews but gave the actor the experience of being first billed. Strait may be a bit older than Lautner, but that maturity and experience surely would have helped the character command a scene.
3 K.J. Apa as Edward Cullen
Riverdale may be a new show, but the Netflix series is a refreshing and original way to adapt a beloved medium. K.J. Apa shines as Archie, the title character of the original comics and his personality and way he carries himself on the show would be downright perfect for the sensitive and loving vampire.
Apa is still a relative newcomer to the scene, but with Riverdale under his belt and a role in the new drama The Hate U give he’s turning himself into a familiar face. Pattinson was a fine Edward and his career has surely taken off since ending his tenure as a vampire, but he may have been a bit happier had someone else taken the role.
2 Emily Browning As Bella Swan
Emily Browning was infamously author Stephanie Meyer’s first choice to play the role of Bella, though it obviously didn’t come to fruition. The young actress who appeared in A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sucker Punch, and Sleeping Beauty has had a very successful career by anyone’s standard, though has never been in a film quite as popular as Twilight.
The actress had this to say during a 2011 Indiewire interview: “The author at one point stated that I would be her ideal Bella, but I chose not to audition because I was at a point in my career where I wasn’t sure I wanted to work, I definitely didn’t want to sign onto a trilogy so I didn’t audition.”
Of course her wishes were respected, but one could only wonder what a Twilight saga with Browning at the helm could have looked like.
1 Millie Bobby Brown As Renesmee Cullen
That's right, Millie Bobby Brown's on here twice. She’s just that good!
This bit of casting could have potentially happened, with Brown being just six when Breaking Dawn: Part 2 was released.
Mackenzie Foy has matured into a great actress, but her performance in the film was a little flat. Renesmee in the book seemed to be smarter than her age; more advanced than she should be. This is something Brown would excel at, having done it for two seasons in Stranger Things.
Let’s be honest, anything would have been better than the CGI Renesmee at the beginning of her the last film.
Which actor do you wish could have had a major role in The Twilight Saga? Let us know in the comments!