But the one actor that Hollywood is pinning their hopes on being the true breakout star is Taylor Lautner, who plays the frequently shirtless werewolf Jacob. The actor has his first solo lead coming up later in the year in the thriller "Abduction," and signed to play Hasbro's toy "Stretch Armstrong" for a hefty $7.5 million last year, although the project won't roll until 2012 at the earliest. Instead, the actor will next topline "Incarceron," an adaptation of a hit young adult novel by Catherine Fisher set up at Fox 2000.
Following a teenager on a futuristic prison planet who romances the daughter of the warden, there's a script from "Moby Dick" writers Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, and now Deadline has word that the film's likely to move forward this year, and that candidates are starting to appear for the female lead, Claudia. Blake Lively, Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Watson are said to be the frontrunners for the role, an impressive, if perhaps overly optimistic collection of names.
Lively's star is firmly on the rise, and we'd be surprised if she was interested, while Lawrence is about to pick up an Oscar nomination, and Watson has enough money to never have to work again, so unless the script is remarkably strong, it seems unlikely that any of them will sign on -- this seems like a wishlist rather than anything else. But we suppose stranger things have happened.
The actor's other project that seems likely to turn over in 2011 is a spy film set up at New Regency, described, predictably, as ""The Bourne Identity" for the next generation." Apparently based on the life of Julal Aviv, who also partially inspired "Munich," it'll be produced by Lautner and Alexandra Milchan, the daughter of New Regency founder Aron Milchan. The project's currently untitled -- we'd politely suggest "Munich Babies."
If neither move forward, however, the world and its mother is trying to court Lautner -- Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes are said to want to make a project with the actor; the producer of another young adult book movie vehicle "Demon Wars" is wooing the star; and "Chicago" producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron want him for an untitled, unknown picture. Expect his schedule to firm up in the coming months. Even if he can't drink legally for another two years, it's good to be Taylor Lautner.