It’s been a rough week for Twilight fans. Not only did the actor who plays Carlisle—Stephenie Meyer’s love interest—pass on the mantle of Edward Cullen to Benedict Cumberbatch, but the author has also canceled the planned sequels of her vampire romance. Now, it seems, the Twilighters may never get to see what happens next.

In a press release earlier this week, Meyer’s representatives confirmed that the author had “no plans for further installments in the Twilight series.” The cancellation came as a shock to fans, who had been eagerly awaiting the novel’s third book, which was due to be released in November 2019. According to The New York Times, Meyer’s literary agency, ICM, began pitching film and TV projects to the author prior to the publication of the book. But she reportedly turned them all down, feeling that the concepts were “not strong enough” to sustain a trilogy. In January 2021, she told The Times that she was considering options for film adaptations, but the plans never came to fruition.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Legacy

While Meyer’s decision to halt the Twilight series is a huge blow to fans, it appears that she may have made the right call. In a survey conducted by The New York Times, nearly three out of every four respondents said that they would have preferred a different actor to play Edward Cullen.

The most popular choice was Benedict Cumberbatch, who took the lead role in the 2014 film adaptation of the first book, Twilight. The survey also found that 55% of the respondents wanted to see a dark-skinned actor take on the part of the dashing vampire, while 22% preferred a white actor. Fans hoped that Meyer would explore the topic of race in the future, but it seems that she may have tired of the subject matter. At the very least, it appears that she had the good sense to know when she’d overexposed the issue. Although she has yet to release a statement about her decision to axe the Twilight films, it seems that Meyer must have known that Cumberbatch was the right person for the part. In the months leading up to the premiere of Twlight, the Sherlock star had built a solid reputation as a serious actor who could tackle any role. In particular, his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the 2015 film, The Theory of Everything, brought him wider recognition. It’s safe to say that he’ll be more popular than Pattinson—not only among fans of Twilight, but among people who appreciate great acting. And great acting is exactly what we got with Cumberbatch—a perfect Edward. He also owns a horse ranch in Ireland, so there’s that as well.

Why Did Meyer Cancel The Sequels?

While many were sad to hear about the end of the Twilight saga, some were actually relieved. As we mentioned, Benedict Cumberbatch is arguably one of the most talented English-speaking actors of all time, and he’ll be forever remembered as Edward Cullen. With him playing the role, there’s no turning back for the Twilight franchise. We may never get to see what happens next between the lovebirds from Skettis Village. So for that reason, it’s a win-win situation. Fans get to focus on the adventures of Bella and Edward—a married couple seeking refuge in a remote part of Texas—and we get to bask in the glory of Cumberbatch’s performance.

The backlash to the news of Cumberbatch’s casting was immediate and visceral. While many fans were over the moon that their favorite actors were tackling the leads in this highly anticipated film, others felt betrayed that Meyer had chosen to replace one of the most beloved characters in the saga. It didn’t help that one of the first reports detailing the news broke just minutes before the premiere of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third film in the series, at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. We all know how much the Festival loves to troll the audience with premature premieres. Especially since it gave away the ending to Toy Story 4 in 2015. So it was no surprise that the fans at Sundance were furious that they had to find out about the Cullen’s marriage via a spoiler alert.

For her part, Meyer has yet to comment on the backlash. However, she did deliver a speech at the 20th edition of the CrimeFest in Liverpool last month in which she defended her choice of Cumberbatch.

“I had a conversation with my editor at the Daily Beast, where I work, about whether or not I should even do a Twilight sequel. That’s what led to my decision to not do a sequel. He didn’t want me to, either,” she said. “But then I thought: Even if I don’t do a sequel, at least I’ll get to work with Benedict again.”

Robert Pattinson’s Final Role

It’s fair to say that the Twilight saga had a negative impact on Robert Pattinson’s career. The backlash saw his name consistently featured in lists of the worst actors of all time, and he became something of a pariah in Hollywood. In 2019 alone, he appeared in five films and one TV show, the latter of which was a supporting role in a zombie-romantic comedy called Land of the Living Dead. The other four films were Two Psychopaths and a Clown—a trio of low-budget indies that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019—and High Life, a biopic about Keith Richards. Not exactly the kind of roles that will make him a household name.

As for his career after Twilight, it basically went to the dogs. He spent most of the next year promoting his film projects, but only one was released in 2019 and it was a box-office bomb. Two days before Christmas, a documentary about his life, Seasons, was released in theaters across the country; it was then quickly removed from distribution due to poor reviews and small box office receipts. It’s fair to say that while not everyone is sad to see the end of the Twilight saga, it’s safe to say that Robert Pattison’s career is better off without it.

At least Meyer chose a famous last name to go with her famous romance. It’s now all but guaranteed that future generations will know who Robert Pattinson was, and perhaps even remember him fondly. While it’s sad to see one of the most in-demand actors of our time go through such a low point in his career, he will undoubtedly bounce back.