'Abduction's' Taylor Lautner is 'Like a Young Tom Cruise' Says Studio Exec (Video)
Twilight fans may only know Taylor Lautner as the shirtless Jacob Black, but Lionsgate is grooming the actor to be their next action star.
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The actor can be seen in his first leading role when Abduction hits theaters on Friday, Sept. 23. In the film, Lautner's character Nathan Price's discovers his photo on a missing persons website, leading him on a dangerous exploration to discover his real identity.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Lionsgate's president of motion pictures Joe Drake at the film’s Hollywood premiere to find out what the studio has in store for Lautner.
"When you watch Taylor, he's like a young Tom Cruise," Drake told THR. "The way he handles his business, he's such a pro."
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“He has real fighting chops, so he’s very physical and it was a chance for him to really show those chops. And he’s a big star,” said Drake. “I’ve just never seen anybody handle their business the way he does. He’s been promoting this movie hard, he knows how to sell and he’s a hell of an actor.”
Drake also told THR that the studio would like to continue their relationship with the 19-year-old actor, turning the John Singleton-directed film into a series.
"I know that Taylor and Lionsgate would both like to see this become a big franchise," he said. "You know, we think it's our Bourne."
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"The story is set up where there's a great character created in this, and so -- with success -- there's lots of places we could take this story, for sure," he added.
Lautner can also be seen in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, which is set for a Nov. 18 release.