‘Twilight’ Pushed Kristen Stewart to Pass on a Major Role in ‘Superman’

The Twilight Saga movie franchise took the world by storm. No one really predicted how popular the films would be, the stars of the movies least of all. In fact, actor Kristen Stewart, known for playing Bella Swan in the five Twilight movies, was so taken off guard by the popularity of the films that she became known for avoiding interviews and the spotlight altogether. 

Shortly after she finished filming the final two Twilight movies, Breaking Dawn: Parts I and II, Stewart was approached by director Zack Snyder and was offered an major role in his upcoming movie Superman: Man of Steel — but she turned it down.

Kristen Stewart smiling in front of a dark blue background
Kristen Stewart | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Twilight made Kristen Stewart a household name

Based on four novels written by Stephenie Meyer, Twilight hit the big screen in 2008. The story focuses on teenager Bella Swan as she moves to a small town in Washington. There, she meets the mysterious Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and the two eventually fall in love, even though Cullen turns out to be a 108-year-old vampire. 

Stewart was in a handful of films before landing the leading role in Twilight, but it was that casting that made her a star. Critics were mixed in their reviews of Stewart’s acting in the role. Some called her stiff and wooden, a criticism Stewart has since received time and time again, but others praised her for echoing the personality of the character Bella. Either way, the film’s popularity led to four more franchise films, all starring Stewart and Pattinson. 

After Twilight, Stewart needed a break from franchise films

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Prior to Twilight, Stewart had never been part of a franchise film, let alone one as popular as Twilight. In 2011, after Stewart finished filming the series’ final movies, director Zack Snyder arranged a meeting with Stewart to offer her the role of Lois Lane in Man of Steel, according to Screenrant. While it wasn’t planned at the time, the film ended up being the first in a series of three franchise films, being followed by Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League. 

The meeting reportedly did not last long and Stewart passed without even reading for the role, NY Daily News reports. A source close to the situation stated that Stewart had been so surprised and overwhelmed by the success of Twilight and, having spent the past five years in the middle of the films’ popularity, wasn’t ready to jump into another potentially mega-successful franchise. The role instead went to Amy Adams. 

Since Twilight, Stewart has focused on smaller projects

Her reasoning for turning down the Lois Lane role is entirely understandable. For someone who shies away from the spotlight at every opportunity, Stewart was thrown into the deep end with Twilight. Hindsight now tells us that Man of Steel wouldn’t have garnered her as much attention as Twilight did, but it was still remarkably successful, grossing $668 million worldwide, according to IMDb.

Since then, Stewart has stayed busy, starring in multiple projects each year. But, contrary to what made her famous in the first place, they’re mainly under-the-radar independent films. The most attention one of her recent roles has gotten was the 2019 adaptation of Charlie’s Angels directed by Elizabeth Banks. 

Her break from mainstream movies likely hasn’t hurt her much financially; in 2010, Stewart was listed as one of the highest-earning actresses of the year, making more than $20 million thanks to Twilight, according to Hollywood Reporter. Today, it’s estimated that her net worth is $70 million. While it may be true that it would be even higher if she had taken that role in Man of Steel, we’d guess that she’s still comfortable with her decision to focus on smaller films.