Paramount inks 'New Moon' thesp for action figure pic

Paramount is looking to “New Moon” hunk Taylor Lautner to help launch another action franchise with “Max Steel,” based on the Mattel toy property.

The teenager has signed on to star in the project, which centers on a 19-year-old extreme sports junkie recruited by a secret agency after an accident infects his body with nanobots, making him superhuman.

Paramount is hoping to score another toy-based hit following the successful leap of Hasbro’s Transformers to the bigscreen.

The Mattel action figure, introduced in the U.S. in 1999, spawned an animated series that ran from 2000-02. The property is particularly popular in Latin America, where Max Steel is the region’s bestselling action figure.

There is no director attached to “Max Steel,” which is the sixth property that Mattel has set up in the past year. Chad Damiani and J.P. Lavin have been tapped to write.

Lautner, a relative newcomer with a mere four films to his credit including the two “Twilight” films, will next be seen in New Line’s “Valentine’s Day.”

Damiani and Lavin have “Capeshooters” set up at Warner Bros., with Bryan Singer producing. The duo also penned “Sons of the Hammer” for Strike Entertainment.

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