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Dream Casting The Twilight Reboot Series - Looper Staff Picks

It is a truth universally acknowledged that, when presented with potentially creating an exciting new project that would naturally gain a following, Hollywood would always, always prefer to return to an existing IP to scrape the bottom of the barrel, milk it for whatever it's worth, or whatever metaphor you want to use here. Put simply: for every "Yellowjackets," there's a "Rise of Skywalker."

This is all to say that on the heels of the announcement that "Harry Potter" will get its own series despite the fact that it already spawned a film franchise, "Twilight" got in on the fun. Yes, a "Twilight" TV adaptation is on the way, for some reason — see you soon, small-screen "Hunger Games!" — which means that this reboot will have to find new actors to play Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, since there's absolutely zero way Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson would or could return to the roles.

That's to say nothing of the (sometimes literal) murderer's row of other vampires, the series' pack of werewolves, and also, the boring humans like Bella's dad. Lucky for you, the Looper staff is here to fancast the "Twilight" TV adaptation — and our picks might surprise you. (Especially our dream Renesmee, but we'll get to later.)

Nina Starner — Sadie Sink would be a perfect Bella

It's still shocking — in a great way — to me that Kristen Stewart managed to break free from her time as Bella Swan to become one of the most celebrated actresses of her generation. (She's the only American besides Adrien Brody to win a César, or a French Oscar, which is an enormous honor.) They'll probably bring in some unknown actress who will be saddled with this boring character for however long the series runs, but if they do want to go with an established name, I say they should stick a brown wig onto Sadie Sink and get her on set.

Sink broke out on "Stranger Things" and has shown up in prestige stuff like "The Whale" and famously starred in Taylor Swift's "All Too Well" short film, and she's a genuinely terrific actress. Bella Swan is absolutely a dullard; she's really just an audience surrogate and her interests include things like "books" and "her vampire boyfriend who won't sleep with her." I love Stewart, but I could never be bothered with Bella. Sink could possibly change my mind. She's wry, funny, and has the potential to wring actual, well, potential out of a character who's mostly just a human embodiment of wish fulfillment for teenage girls. Sink is probably too busy, but this is dream casting, not practical casting, so let me imagine a world where Sadie Sink makes Bella into a multi-faceted character I might actually root for.

Mike Bedard — Jacob Elordi could play a brooding Edward

Edward, originally played by Robert Pattinson in the "Twilight" movies, is a perpetual teenager, so it's only fitting he be played by someone who's caught playing teens over and over again. Jacob Elordi broke onto the scene in the "Kissing Booth" movies for Netflix before moving on to much more adult-oriented fare with "Euphoria," where he plays Nate Jacobs, a high school athlete with some serious anger issues. While Nate sometimes can't control himself, control is the name of the game when it comes to Edward trying to contain himself from pursuing Bella.

Elordi's got the Edward look down pat, and even though there's definitely an intensity to Edward the actor could absolutely do, it would also present an opportunity for him to show a more compassionate side. Nate Jacobs may act sweet to whomever his current paramour is, but usually, that kindness is a façade to get someone he actually wants.

On top of that, Nate Jacobs is a problematic boyfriend, which Edward could definitely fit into as well. After all, he's over 100 years old and dating a teenager, so it would keep him on the same trajectory of playing a character who's a social media thirst trap for fans who don't fully appreciate what kind of character he's playing.

Kieran Fisher — D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai could right wrongs as Jacob Black

One of the biggest criticisms of the "Twilight" movies is that the filmmakers didn't cast an Indigenous actor to play Jacob Black. The character is a member of the Quileute tribe, but the filmmakers opted to give the part to Taylor Lautner instead of a Native actor. While Lautner gave a memorable performance as the handsome werewolf, the upcoming "Twilight" series is a perfect opportunity to cast someone from an Indigenous background and avoid those criticisms moving forward.

Furthermore, there just so happens to be an Indigenous actor who's perfect for the role. D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai has been making waves lately thanks to his performance on Hulu's "Reservation Dogs," an outstanding comedy series about a group of Indigenous teenagers from rural Oklahoma who dream of living in sunny California. Woon-a-Tai's performance earned him a Critics' Choice Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series nomination earlier this year. It's only a matter of time until he takes over the world.

Woon-A-Tai's acting prowess is undeniable, and he has all of the attributes required to play Jacob. He boasts stylish curls and is good at looking mysterious, which will go a long way in a supernatural drama about sad young people. Unfortunately, the actor doesn't seem to be the biggest "Twilight" fan on the planet, so let's not get our hopes up about him potentially playing Jacob. While speaking to GQ, the actor seemed quite critical of the franchise as the Indigenous characters are portrayed as shapeshifters. However, in the same interview, Woon-A-Tai also said that he wishes he could transform into a werewolf. Let's just wait and see what happens.

Rick Stevenson — Giancarlo Esposito would bring an edge to Carlisle Cullen

Giancarlo Esposito has built a career out of playing conniving villains. From Moff Gideon on "The Mandalorian" and Stan Edgar on "The Boys" to his career-defining role as Gus Fring in the "Breaking Bad" universe, he's established himself as one of the modern TV era's leading baddies. But what if Esposito got a chance to play a less evil patriarch? Someone who's still the head of a powerful and important group, but who chooses kindness over violence; good over evil?

Peter Facinelli gives one of the best performances in the original "Twilight" films, imbuing Carlisle Cullen with sensitivity and quiet poise. He's a family man with a strong set of morals and a conviction for protecting those he cares about. Esposito could bring many of those same qualities to life, but with a little more edge.

His role as Gus is perhaps the best example of this in his preexisting work. The "Breaking Bad" villain's unsettling shifts from World's Best Boss to vicious killer define him, and they showcase Esposito's particular talents exquisitely. In the case of Carlisle, the kindly father figure would be the true man, and the driven fighter would be the face he prefers not to show. But when push comes to shove and Victoria, or James, or the Volturi are at the door? That's when Esposito's villainous experience could truly elevate the character.

Melissa Lemieux — Robin Wright would make a perfect Esme

Esme Cullen is a character who radiates grace and elegance. She's been leading her clan of vampires for decades, and Emmett, Alice, and Edward all look to her as a mother figure whenever they're in times of trouble. And who would Carlisle be without her?

A character of incomparable intelligence and good sense requires someone with a temperament who can both spit fire and wax delicate. Who has the poise, dignity and acting chops to make "Twilight" work in its soapiest moments? Maybe someone who started her career as a soap opera actress — like the ever-elegant and massively talented Robin Wright. Wright also has previous experience in fantasy stories — she is, of course, forever the legendary Buttercup of "The Princess Bride" fame — and she knows how to make fairytale dialogue land upon the listener's ears like a Shakespearian sonnet.

Ergo she would be an excellent Esme and a solid grounding force for any "Twilight" series. Just take a look at the above picture and it's easy to see that someone who's this ageless could convincingly play an immortal woman who looks 30 but acts 200.

Cameron Roy Hall — Adam Driver could bring normalcy as Charlie Swan

In a town full of horny cryptids, Charlie Swan is a shining beacon of normalcy. Okay, so maybe normal is a comparative thing, but he's far closer to the median than his daughter, who spends most of the franchise in a love triangle with a vampire and a werewolf. He's a divorced single father who works in small-town law enforcement, and his strongest ambition is simply to live a quiet, peaceful life.

Charlie might be an awkward guy who struggles with communicating his emotions, but underneath all that dirty denim beats a heart of pure gold that fiercely carries love for his daughter, even if he never really knows how to express that paternal bond. And if the remake wants to cast an actor who can perfectly portray the world's most endearing hillbilly, it has to pick Adam Driver.

Driver fits the physical M.O. of being a lumbering string bean who can grow a silly little mustache. And no, before you say it, he's not too young to play Charlie. Driver is pushing 40, which is the ideal age for someone playing a guy who got married way too young and immediately had a kid. But Driver can offer even more than all that. He's also the literal embodiment of awkward charm, a skill he's honed by consistently making the most bonkers acting choices to ever grace the big screen.

Rick Stevenson — Kiernan Shipka is the perfect Alice

She's already played a witch and the daughter of Lucifer Morningstar, so why not a vampire with the power of future sight? Kiernan Shipka has already assembled an impressive acting resume for such a young star, with major roles on the likes of "Mad Men" and "The Legend of Korra" in addition to her leading turn in "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina." But it's that last performance that shows just how great she'd be as Edward Cullen's cheerful and prophetic adopted sister.

In a story where most characters mope around being angsty all the time, Alice is a beacon of light and hope. She's a stalwart friend to Bella, an integral part of the Cullen family, and arguably the main reason we get a happy ending for the Twilight saga at all. Optimism in the face of impossible circumstances — that's what makes Alice such an endearing character. If you've seen even half a season of "Sabrina," you'll know just how good Shipka is at exactly that. And her specific experience in the supernatural teen drama space doesn't hurt either.

Cameron Roy Hall — Jack Dylan Grazer could play the complex role of Jasper Hale

Jasper Hale isn't special because he's an immortal vampire with excellent bone structure, Jasper's special because he's an immortal vampire with excellent bone structure who's in touch with his feelings. He's also in touch with your feelings, because he can quite literally control them and change them on a whim, like some male manipulator god. As if there weren't enough red flags here, the dude used to be a Confederate soldier in his human life, which means there is a legitimate possibility that Jasper was a hardcore racist.

We're sticking with the past tense here because there's just no way that Alice Cullen, in all her future-seeing majesty, would ever marry a present-tense white supremacist. That's called growth, friends, and we love to see it, and that growth should be portrayed by Jack Dylan Grazer.

The young performer proved that he could singlehandedly carry a film with his manic brand of earnest commitment in "Shazam: Fury of the Gods." And, sure, Dylan Grazer isn't a one-to-one fit with Jasper, whose whole vibe is noticeably more subdued, but an intelligent director could funnel him into the right choices. As for Dylan Grazer being a brunette instead of the requisite blonde, just give him the Tom Felton treatment. Actually, on second thought, maybe just buy the kid a wig.

Nina Starner — Get Sydney Sweeney on board as Rosalie Cullen

Nikki Reed is a fantastic actress, but for me, she never felt quite right as the icy, temperamental Rosalie Cullen. (Maybe it was the really bad wig. Honestly, that was probably it.) Since Reed definitely won't return, a new Rosalie is in order, and I humbly submit Sydney Sweeney of "Euphoria" and "White Lotus" fame.

Zendaya tends to get all the awards attention where "Euphoria" is concerned, and that does Sweeney an enormous disservice. As Cassie, Sweeney has proven that she can go from zero to sixty thousand in about three seconds flat, which is to say that Sweeney plays one of the most f***ng bonkers characters on television. Just look at her imaginary breakdown from Season 2 where she is, inexplicably, dressed like she's auditioning for the school production of "Oklahoma" or her infamous hot-tub puking incident. Sweeney can also go smaller; she's one of the scariest TV villains around in the first season of "The White Lotus," in which she plays a sneering teenager who has absolutely zero patience for anyone around her.

Rosalie is both over-the-top — her backstory alone?! Wild stuff!!!! — and closed-off, depending on the moment, so Sweeney is a perfect fit. Get her out of "Madame Web" and into this project. Also, she wouldn't need a wig. Problem solved!

Cameron Roy Hall — Asa Butterfield should go full himbo as Emmett Cullen

Emmett Cullen is a vampire of few words and even fewer thoughts, whose mortal life ended when he made enemies with a particularly grumpy black bear. You can imagine the mess. His immortal life as a vampire began shortly afterward, when Rosalie Cullen decided that he looked kind of cute, actually, while being viciously mauled by a bear. And he's spent every subsequent moment wholly devoted in heart and mind to her, Rosalie, his guardian angel. Add in the context that Emmett's described as being the physically strongest member of the Cullen Coven and you've got yourself a lovestruck himbo.

In terms of physicality, Emmett's two most important distinguishing features are his towering frame and his adorable baby face, and, stick with us here, those two things are practically synonymous with Asa Butterfield. Much like Thomas Brodie-Sangster, he's spent the better part of the last two decades convincing the world that he's a young adult, actually. But you would never know it by looking at him.

What's more, Butterfield's resume proves that he's a versatile talent. Emmett has to be both as gentle as a teddy bear and scarier than a literal bear, and that's just kind of a regular Tuesday for the guy who starred in "Hugo" and "Ender's Game."

Pauli Poisuo — The Volturi Trio should be the coolest TV vampires out there, so cast the coolest TV vampires out there

Yes, this seems like stunt casting. That's because it is stunt casting. Hear me out, though: When it comes to playing an awesome trio of ancient vampires, there's no combination of actors alive with more experience than Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, and Matt Berry. Sure, "What We Do in the Shadows" tends to depict Nandor the Relentless (Novak), Nadia (Demetriou), and Lazslo "Jackie Daytona" Cravensworth (Berry) as utter goofballs at the best of times, but here's the thing: Even though they rarely have to do so, the show absolutely wouldn't work if the actors couldn't portray genuinely threatening vampires when needs must. Demetriou in particular sells Nadia's horror villain tendencies extremely well, but the guys have what it takes to go serious, as well. After all, they're actors.

Remove the comedy from the equation and Novak, Demetriou, and Berry would be the perfect fit to play the three Volturi leaders. Even their respective roles in "What We Do in the Shadows" form a trio that's similar temperament. Michael Sheen would no doubt be delighted to pass the Aro torch to the appropriately theatrical Berry, Demetriou was practically born to play the cruel Caius, and Novak's Nandor is basically just the sad-sack Marcus under a different name. Oh, and as a bonus, this casting would probably lead troves of "Twilight" fans to watch "What We Do in the Shadows," which is essential viewing for vampire fans — and, let's be honest, everyone.

Rick Stevenson — Camila Mendes would make a terrifying Victoria

Remember when Camila Mendes' Veronica Lodge was part of the regular gang on "Riverdale," before she got thrown into (almost) full-on villain territory in a completely different sector of the plot? Because I ... kind of don't at this point. I mean, let's be honest: Mendes is pretty great as the scheming femme fatale. She's also pretty great at doing revenge, having also starred in the aptly titled Netflix film "Do Revenge." And if there's one thing that Victoria does in the "Twilight" saga, it's revenge.

In "Eclipse," when Victoria becomes the primary antagonist, she's as much a manipulator as she is a straight-up killer. Yes, her goal is still ultimately to choke the life out of Bella and Edward, but she bides her time in doing so and slowly builds strength in the shadows of Seattle. Mendes has the perfect cold-blooded aura to embody that part of Victoria. She can get big when the moment calls for it, but she really thrives in the subtler, sneakier moments, which is what the role demands.

Rick Stevenson — Jamie Campbell Bower would be a truly creepy James

In the original "Twilight" movie, Cam Gigandet plays the villainous James as kind of a meathead. He's creepy, sure, but in the way that the star quarterback at your local high school might be creepy. In the modern age, I think we need a little more fear factor for an antagonist whose whole thing is being able to hunt you down from anywhere. That's why I'm proposing Jamie Campbell Bower for the role in the upcoming reboot.

Okay, yes, I see your hand raised. Wasn't he already in the movies? Playing Caius, a member of the Volturi? You're correct. But who says an actor can't play two different characters in the same franchise, especially when there's a complete timeline reboot separating them? Let's be honest: Caius is barely a character in the movies, and Bower has hardly anything to do. His talents were wasted on such a small part, and he'd be much better suited to the particular demands of playing James.

His distinctive face may have locked him into playing spooky quiet boys, but Bower has much more range than that, and James is the perfect role to showcase it. He can still employ the kind of understated menace that he's brought to roles like Victor Creel on "Stranger Things," but with a bit more overt aggression and Chad-like edge. Bower was born to play vampires — that much is certain. But he was cast as the wrong vampire in the "Twilight" movies, and now there's a chance to correct that mistake.

Rick Stevenson — Omar Sy could bring real French class to Laurent

I know, I know. It might be a long shot to get one of the most famous international French actors to play a bit part in a "Twilight" remake. But this is dream casting, and Omar Sy would just bring so much poise and presence to the role of Laurent. I had to put it out into the universe. Maybe, just maybe, it'll come true now.

Let's start with the fact that Laurent could play a much larger role in a new version of the story, especially one with the cadence of a TV series instead of a film. More lines and narrative significance mean more appeal to a bigger star like Sy, who's become a Swiss army knife of a talent over the past couple decades. Whether you know him best from "Lupin," "The Intouchables," or one of his bigger Hollywood credits like the "Jurassic World" films or "X-Men: Days of Future Past," you're probably familiar with his distinctive charm and suave persona. Laurent is a former French aristocrat, and as such, he demands to be played by an actor who can truly deliver on that premise.

Nina Starner — Give us the original Renesmee doll or give us death

Yeah, that's right. I'm the only one brave enough to propose that we bring back the original Renesmee doll. Infamously dubbed "Chuckesmee" by director Bill Condon, the original doll intended to be Renesmee — the half-vampire, half-human daughter of Bella and Edward who grows up at an alarmingly fast rate — is both beautiful and grotesque. Take in her bug eyes, which are just far apart enough to make you realize something's wrong. Her clenched little fist, as if she's about to strike. Her chin; oh, her glorious butt-chin! She is the stuff of both dreams and night terrors, and she has to play Renesmee. She should also be the lead in every movie and show for the next decade, but I'm getting ahead of myself here. She can start by returning to her rightful "Twilight" throne, I suppose.

Come on, you absolute cowards. Give us the Renesmee doll. Make our memes come true. Don't shy away from the fact that Bella and Edward's freak kid should look like, as Taylor Swift wrote, "a nightmare dressed like a daydream," although she's missing the "daydream" half of that. Imagine the roar of the crowd — and by roar, I mean horrified screaming — that would swell around you as The Renesmee Doll appears on-screen, held by Sydney Sweeney, who's just talented enough to not look horrified by it (probably). It's been a hard few years. We need this. Let us have one nice thing. Let us have the original Renesmee doll.