Taylor Lautner: Thesp draws Quick Six

Youth Impact Report 2011: Bigscreen Kids

Impact: The top-earning teen thesp produced his first solo starring vehicle, “Abduction.”
Next: “Breaking Dawn,” parts 1 and 2, divides the final book in Stephenie Meyer’s “The Twilight Saga” into two tentpole releases for Summit.

Thanks to the billion-dollar-grossing “Twilight” franchise, Taylor Lautner already has a lock on the young girl demo. Looking to expand that core audience to include young men, the 19-year-old heartthrob took a calculated gamble with Lionsgate’s recent $35 million action-thriller “Abduction,” in which he starred as the teenage son-on-the-run of a CIA agent. And while the film’s anemic opening (barely $11 million) suggests he isn’t yet ready to be launched into action-hero stardom, Lautner, reportedly the highest-paid teen actor in town, has plenty of other options in front of him.

Popular on Variety

The former karate champion, whose credits include “Valentine’s Day” and “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3D,” is actively looking to move more into producing. His shingle, Quick Six Entertainment, co-produced “Abduction” and is attached to Universal’s “Stretch Armstrong” and the sci-fi drama “Incarceron.” And then of course there are the two remaining “Twilight” series films, both directed by Bill Condon.

“I’d never worked with Taylor before, but right away I saw that he has that special quality of being very present on screen, and his big, vivid real-life personality translates intact to the screen,” Condon says. “The camera just loves his face, but he’s not just a pretty face — he also has a very strong work ethic. He had some great ideas and a lot of input into the films and his character. Of course, he knows Jacob Black better than I ever could, so I was just working from him a lot.”

More Voices

  • Sam Mendes Bong Joon Ho 1917

    Final Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win in the Major Categories?

    The 92nd Academy Awards are almost here… For films like “Joker” and “Marriage Story,” the journey to the Oscars began five months ago with their premieres in Venice. “1917” had the least amount of time on the campaign trail: The Sam Mendes war movie didn’t start screening until late November. In the end, however, it [...]

  • Harriet Movie BTS

    Academy Needs to Start Taking Chances With Noms; Rewards Will Follow (Column)

    Throughout its history, the Academy Awards has been subject to intense criticism for the issues it embraces — and ignores. This year’s uproar over the lack of diversity among nominations in the highest-profile awards categories is the latest example. This failure reflects a chronic dearth of opportunity at Hollywood’s top artistic and financial levels. The milestone nominations [...]

  • Baby Yoda The Mandolorian

    Media Giants Make Smaller Moves With an Eye Toward Future Gains in Streaming Era

    Maybe the empire can strike back. Or at least strike anew. Over the past few months, a number of developments have emerged for traditional media companies that indicate a spirit of reinvention and experimentation is spreading across the industry. There’s a new willingness to take a hard look at long-standing operations and make big and [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Booksmart BTS

    Olivia Wilde on Her Move From Acting to Directing With 'Booksmart'

    Olivia Wilde began acting in 2004 when she was 20 years old. It never occurred to her that she might also enjoy stepping behind the lens. “I always wanted to make movies and be a part of the moviemaking process,” she tells me. “I always assumed acting was the way in, because for many young [...]

  • Oscar Statue Oscars Placeholder

    Oscars 2020 Predictions: Who Will Get Nominated?

    The Oscar race is on. And it’s about to get a lot more intense when the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announces the nominations for the 92nd Oscars on Jan. 13. Golden Globes shutout “The Irishman” is favored to earn several nods, as will “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which went home [...]

  • Golden Globes Analysis Oscar Race

    Why Golden Globes Will Likely Have Little Effect on Oscar Nominations (Column)

    With the Globes now behind us and Oscar noms rapidly approaching on Jan. 13, what should we be paying attention to in Hollywood’s biggest film awards race? Surefire bets are Globe winners Renée Zellweger (“Judy”), who already has one Oscar, and Brad Pitt, who should garner his third acting nomination for his work in Quentin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content