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Get ready for Taylor Lautner, independent film star.
The Twilight actor, fresh from the disappointing performance of September’s action thriller Abduction, is about to move into arthouse territory. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Lautner is finalizing a deal to team with auteur director Gus Van Sant (Milk, Drugstore Cowboy) on a small-budget film based on a nonfiction article in The New Yorker magazine that Lautner has optioned.
Details are still emerging about the project, but sources say an announcement is expected later this week revealing who is writing the script for the Van Sant-helmed film. The aim is to shoot the film in the first quarter of next year.
The move is an interesting one for the Twilight star, who has shown eagerness to capitalize on his burst of fame from the blockbuster teen fantasy series, the penultimate installment of which, Breaking Dawn: Part I, hits theaters November 18.
Since becoming a star in 2008’s Twilight, Lautner has attached himself to several projects–with his price tag ratcheting up to $7.5 million. He circled Max Steel, based on a Mattel action figure, then decided to make Stretch Armstrong, based on a Hasbro property, at Universal. That project has lost momentum at the studio but sources say it is not dead.
STORY: Gus Van Sant: How I Bombed My ‘Twilight’ Audition
Lautner also flirted with Northern Lights, a project from producer David Ellison about extreme flying, but he chose to do Abduction for Lionsgate instead. That movie, which opened in September, pulled in only $26.9 million in the U.S. It managed another $44.5 million overseas. Lautner also was reported as being attached to Incarceron, a sci-fi project at Fox. According to an insider, that project is headed into turnaround but Lautner is still attached.
VIDEO: ‘Abduction’ Red Carpet Premiere
The new project would almost certainly take Lautner’s career in a new direction. He is said to be determined to work only with top directors and writers from now on as he strives to define himself as an actor.
Lautner also will produce the project via Quick Six, the production shingle he runs with father Dan Lautner.
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