Although appearing as the “virtuous” Vampire Edward Cullen in the first three Twilight Saga films, Pattinson has stated that a heavy workload and scheduling conflicts have come between him and returning as Edward Cullen in the final Twilight episode, Breaking Dawn.
“I really loved playing Edward. I loved working with [Twilight co-star and onscreen love interest] Kristen [Stewart]” Pattinson reminisced. “I’ll miss being on set, the energy, and all of the amazing Twilight fans out there.”
Summit Entertainment Rep Stacy Williamson has come out and stated that, “While we were initially saddened by Rob’s decision, we feel the fans will ultimately be open to the idea. I mean, James Bond wasn’t always played by Sean Connery. It’s not a big deal.”
So far fan reaction is anything but mixed. When Arby’s employee and self-proclaimed “Twi-hard” Jessica Linfield, 17, heard of Robert’s decision, she was less than thrilled. “OH MY GAAHH! [sic] ROBERT IS EDWARD. HE WILL FOREVER BE EDWARD. NO ONE CAN REPLACE HIM!”
As of press time, Summit has yet to name a definite substitute for Pattinson, however, they have narrowed their search down to four potential Edward-replacements. They are:
Justin Long. While many recognize him from the "Mac commercials," Justin has also appeared in movies. Many feel as if his struggles alongside "PC" parallel the "battle" for Bella between Edward and Jacob. Justin's ability to completely shut down "PC" in the commercials with a simple sarcastic comment is the top reason he is being considered for Edward in Breaking Dawn. Obviously, whoever plays Edward must be able to "shut down" Jacob in Breaking Dawn through any means necessary, sarcasm included.
Daniel Radcliffe. Daniel is just finishing up filming some other movies, so he's free to do pretty much whatever at this point. He has experience playing a character that is "magical" and also has an English accent that he can most likely convert to an American one. His face is fairly recognizable, but not to the point where people don't still confuse him with Elijah Wood. One downside to Daniel playing Edward is the fact that he is contractually obligated to wear large, black-rimmed glasses in every film he appears in. Summit believes, however, the glasses could add a new layer to Edward's character.