What's Next

By Michael Lynderey

February 16, 2010

Taylor Lautner. And some trees.

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Lautner × 5
Those who follow the latest casting tidbits may have noticed a recent recurring phenomenon: ever since November 20, or, in other words, since the release of Twilight: New Moon, werewolfian co-star Taylor Lautner has been cast in a new starring role roughly once every two weeks, reaching a current total of five upcoming projects. Not counting his already-filmed part in this summer's Twilight: Eclipse, Lautner will star in:

* Max Steel - franchise alert!; Lautner as extreme sports enthusiast turned superhuman secret agent; based on the 2000-2002 animated TV show, unseen by me and possibly many others; higher body count than Agent Cody Banks, one could hope (announced December 4, 2009)

* Cancun - in which Lautner uses his sharkboy martial arts skills to dispatch, incapacitate, or otherwise irritate unfriendly-looking drug dealers who have snatched his girlfriend south of the border; presumably, Lautner will look very intense while doing so (announced December 17, 2009)

* Northern Lights - in which Lautner engages in hitherto undisclosed aerobatical shenanigans, possibly resulting in multiple explosions and stunt work; title sounds like codeword for secret army base storing hordes of displaced UFOs (announced January 6, 2010)

* Stretch Armstrong - franchise alert!; Lautner makes like Mr. Fantastic and turns to long-limbed crimefighting; martial arts much more difficult like this (announced February 5, 2010)

* Abduction - in which Lautner's on-screen parents turn out to be engaged in some form of malfeasance (actually, I always thought "my parents are evil" was a great plot for a teen thriller, that old movie Little Nikita notwithstanding); not sure if I like the title, which immediately reminded me of the girlfriend-Mexico-drug dealer movie (announced February 11, 2010)


That's about it, I think, for now. Lautner appears to be the definitive breakout star of the Twilight films, and maybe that's for the best - if Robert Pattinson made this many movies, we would all have to sit through a lot more Jane Austen period pieces about misunderstood painters with mid-European accents. Also, at this point, Lautner is clearly angling to become the most prolific leading man born during the 1990s, and competition in that department is currently fairly thin (anyone remember Jonathan Lipnicki?). None of these five films have any other cast attached quite yet, nor much more than a vague release date, so it's a tough call as to which one is going into production first, last, or at all. In the meantime, we ought to start an office pool guessing the days left until the next Lautner project is announced. There'll be a number six by the end of the month, I say.

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