'New Moon' for Taylor Lautner

Actor will return for 'Twilight' sequel

The werewolf will not morph.

After much speculation and consternation among online fans of "Twilight," Summit and director Chris Weitz said Wednesday they will bring back Taylor Lautner to play the werewolf Jacob Black in "Twilight" sequel "New Moon."

The character has a relatively minor role in the first pic but a significantly larger one in the second, as he develops a romantic relationship with female protagonist Bella (Kristen Stewart).

With the Jacob character looking older and bulkier in "New Moon" as he goes through physiological changes, there had been reports that Lautner may be replaced. The actor was said to be gaining weight as part of his bid to keep the part.

Coincidentally, Robert Pattinson himself also faced some backlash from the fan community when he was first brought on to play Edward, with some saying he was actually too bulky for the part.

Still, it's unclear how big Lautner's role will be in the new movie, which is being fast-tracked to come out in November. While the role of Edward is considerably smaller in the "New Moon" novel, the script is expected to boost his role to allow for more screentime for Pattinson, who is seen as key to the success of "Twilight."

Weitz, who came on to helm the second pic after Summit and Catherine Hardwicke could not reach an agreement, acknowledged the size issue but said Lautner was ultimately the best choice.

"The characters in Stephenie's books go through extraordinary changes of circumstance and also appearance; so it is not surprising that there has been speculation about whether the same actor would portray a character who changes in so many surprising ways throughout the series," Weitz wrote in a letter posted on author Stephenie Meyer's Web site. "But it was my first instinct that Taylor was, is, and should be Jacob."