Taylor Lautner will continue to play Jacob in Twilight franchise

There have been rumors for some time that Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob Black in the Twilight series, would be replaced by another actor for the second film, New Moon.  In the second film, he would play a werewolf – a part that requires sheer size as well as a different acting style than playing (in his words) a “happy-go-lucky” guy.  Lautner noted the difference between the character that he played in the first Twilight installment and the character that would be necessary for the second film:

Lautner told MTV News recently that, while he can’t automatically grow hair, he’s been bulking up in anticipation of continuing in the role.

“My job for Twilight was to bring Twilight Jacob to life—the friendly, happy-go-lucky little Jacob,” he said. ”My job for New Moon is completely different. I’ve been looking forward to that. I’ve been getting ready for it, and I can assure them I will follow through with that.”

[from E! Online]

Today, Stephanie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series, announced that Lautner would indeed continue to play Jacob, making many teenagers very, very happy.  Chris Weitz, the director of New Moon, writes that he always knew Lautner would be right for the part:

I’m very happy to announce that Taylor Lautner will be playing Jacob Black in New Moon and that he’s doing so with the enthusiastic support of Summit Entertainment, the producers, and Stephenie Meyer.

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. But it was my first instinct that Taylor was, is, and should be Jacob, and that the books would be best served by the actor who is emotionally right for the part. I think that fans of Twilight the book and the movie will be surprised by the Jacob Black that Taylor will bring to the screen in New Moon; and I’m looking forward to working with him and the rest of the cast in realizing the film.

[from StephanieMeyer.com]

That was a well-written letter Weitz’s personal assistant wrote for him.  The bottom line is, changing actors mid-stream in a series doesn’t bode well.  With the success of the books, studio execs must have anticipated that a second movie would be made, and should have taken into account the changes to his character.  But it doesn’t seem that the studio was all too worried about attention to detail.  Their hurry to make a buck may have also forced the original director to leave the series.

The speculation about Lautner’s casting change was reinforced by the fact that the director of Twilight, Catherine Hardwicke, is also not continuing on in the franchise.  Verified reasons for Hardwicke’s leaving have been few and far between, but because she cites “timing” as the reason, this probably means that Hardwicke wanted more pre-production while the studios were pushing for a quick turnaround with a 2009 release.

Both Chris Weitz and Taylor Lautner have challenges ahead of them, for different reasons.  But both are going to have to work hard to fulfil the fantasies of countless tweens.

Taylor Lautner is shown in a still from Twilight and at the premiere on 11/13/08. Credit: WENN

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18 Responses to “Taylor Lautner will continue to play Jacob in Twilight franchise”

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  1. Susan says:

    Yay! He is gorgeous! Love Twilight.

  2. photo jojo says:

    …also making many mostly middle aged ladies who are embarrassed that they find this kid cute very happy as well. 🙂

  3. I Choose Me says:

    Damn! He’s foine little package ain’t he. Love his smile.

    The Jacob of Twilight Books however, made me want to throw chairs.

    Edward Forever! *Channels her inner tween*

  4. ronnie says:

    They definitely made the right decision.

  5. Jill says:

    This just made my 14 year old daughter very happy.

  6. Eileen Yover says:

    Please tell me this second movie will not be as hockey as the first. I know I’m pissing a lot of people off here, but I LOVED the books. The movie was so “made for tv” and cheap, I was seriously disappointed.

  7. BabySanta says:

    I love twilight!
    At the moment im reading the first book of the series!

  8. Hollz says:

    Same here Eileen, i dreaded the movie and it was just as bad as i thought it was going to be

  9. Karen says:

    YAY! He’s the perfect Jacob! Lautner will be great. They made the right decision to keep him.

  10. Ana says:

    I am glad. I haven’t seen the movies but when I read the first two books his character and Edward were the only two that I pictured looking the same as the characters in the movie. That I’ve seen from the promotional stills and what not…

  11. Flatbellydance says:

    Uh, not JUST tweens…I’m in my mid-thirties and otherwise very non-tweenish, but I love the Twilight series. They aren’t about teenagers AT ALL. They’re about love and struggle – something most teens aren’t able to fully grasp yet…though I think the books definitely help put it in the right perspective for them.

    Ok, back to my lurking….

  12. Dingles says:

    Am I a failure at life because I’m 22 and secretly wish my guy was a bit more…Edward Cullen? haha. I know a relationship like that would be on the Montel show in real life, but damn if it don’t look great on paper.


  13. Amy says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. I don’t think there is a single attractive kid in that Twilight movie. It’s like the OC mystery all over again. I thought every kid on that damn show was odd looking!

  14. FF says:

    *giggles happily at the comments for this post*

  15. Mrs.Darcy says:

    I think he will do well as he made a good impression with not much to do in Twilight.

    p.s.another non-teen Twilight fan here lol!

  16. sgsg says:

    Hey Taylor Is 2 cute and emmet is 2

  17. FF says:

    I agree with Eileen the movie was a let down. It was as if they forgot the universal themes of hope, loneliness and change, and just figured it was another popcorn filler for teenagers. A particularly bad show of form given that the above average casting and music.

    The script and directing was really awful though. They need to make the vampires movement more stylised and unique – as opposed to a rip off of other movie ideas – as well as coordinating their stunts and visuals for it better. The best stunts in Twilight were the car ones when Edward saves Bella. Some of the others were just plain horrible.

    Also would it kill them to keep the films the same as the books, i.e. strictly from Bella’s POV? The holes in the narrative work better that way.

    As for Taylor. What were they thinking attempting to recast his part? Seriously, he was one of the few bright spots in the whole picture. He conveyed everything Jacob needed to convey in the very brief moments he had on screen. He also seemed to have good chemistry with Kirsten.

    I can only hope he lives up to that potential in the second film but then I also hope that they sort out the directing and sack the previous scriptwriter.

    In short, please stop patronising your audience and take the material seriously if you’re going to bother at all.

  18. Reyanon-Skye says:

    I’m so glad they’re keeping Taylor Lautner for New Moon and fingers crossed for Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, its true the book was different to the movie.. but what movie is exactly how its portrayed in the book? Everyone has a different sense of imagination therefore things look different to everyone when they read the books, i thought Twilight was brilliant, i loved especially the fight scene in the movie because in the book it was quite vague but in the movie you could see everything possible that could’ve happened! I’m in my late 20’s and i absolutely am intrigued by Twilight, die hard fan! Read all 4 books in a week straight after I watched Twilight! 🙂 Wouldv’e totally hated New Moon if they used someone else to play Jacob!