Even as we anticipate Robert Pattinson’s turn as the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves’ The Batman in 2022, the 34-year-old actor will always be Edward Cullen to Twilight fans. Don’t get me wrong, sure R-Patz has done a beautiful job of separating himself from his iconic bloodthirsty role over the last few years with movies like Good Time and The Devil All The Time. But a world without his famously improvised “hold on tight spider-monkey” line isn’t one I want to live in. And had Stephanie Meyer been given her way, this would have been the case, and Henry Cavill would have been the one to play the iconic role.
Robert Pattinson was the perfect, sparkliest Edward Cullen we could have asked for but, as you can imagine, he wasn’t the only actor who auditioned for Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight. Before any camera tests got rolling back in 2007, Stephenie Meyer was using her blog to communicate with fans about her casting ideas for the to-be movie adaptation of her worldwide phenomenon, and Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill was at the tip-top of the list. For context, at the time, Cavill was a brand new actor with just a few credits to his name. While updating her fans on Twilight’s early development, she said this:
Years have passed, my actors have aged, and I think the time has come to recast the Twilight Movie. (For fun, of course! I still have no say in who gets hired.) 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…
As you can see, Stephanie Meyer, really wanted Henry Cavill to wear the fangs for the Twilight saga. The making of Twilight was a long process that began back in 2004, and the original movie once featured a script much, much different from the source material. By the time it came to casting the film, Meyer felt Cavill was too old to play the immortal teen and apparently, didn’t have much say of her own in who would play the character she created.
Before Pattinson was cast in the role, Meyer called Cavill her “perfect Edward” and, considering that we’ve seen his brooding Witcher, she was dead on. Henry Cavill has become one of the most-sought off actors in Hollywood, and Meyer was one of his first big fans. Even upon the realization that Cavill was no longer a good fit for Edward, she said this:
I’m not willing to relinquish Henry completely; since I hear that Charlie Hunnam refuses to consider scripts which include vampires, I propose that Henry play Carlisle! Would Henry dare to find out if blondes DO have more fun??
She had Charlie Hunnam on her list, too? Stephenie Meyer seriously had a great future as a casting director and had no idea. The author just really wanted Henry Cavill in Twilight and additionally fancasted him as Edward’s “dad” of sorts and Forks’ most trusted doctor, Carlisle Cullen. Personally, I really love the idea of Cavill as Carlisle rather than Edward. Cavill has a distinguished energy about him that would have really fit well for Carlisle and, for another Witcher case-and-point, the dude can and did dare to see if blondes have more fun, just not for Meyer's fantasy franchise.
It’s all water under the bridge over a decade later, as the Twilight saga has come and gone. Still, it’s fun to look back on what could have been. And funny enough, both actors find themselves in similar spaces these days. Henry Cavill will soon be seen as Superman in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Robert Pattinson is, as previously mentioned, part of the upcoming DCEU slate as Batman in Matt Reeves' movie, which is slated to arrive on March 4, 2022.