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Taylor Lautner: What Happens If Abduction Fails?

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood September 23, 2011 at 8:19AM

Taylor Lautner, the Twilight teen idol, has been poised for movie stardom. But what if his first solo attempt, the upcoming action film Abduction, fails? Lautner's agents at William Morris have posed the ripped 19-year old at a big star, lining up multi-million dollar roles (he will receive $5 million for Abduction), but what if he can't move past Twilight? (Neither Kristen Stewart nor Rob Pattinson has scored in a big way on their own outside the Twilight franchise.)
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Thompson on Hollywood

Taylor Lautner, the Twilight teen idol, has been poised for movie stardom. But what if his first solo attempt, the upcoming action film Abduction, fails? Lautner's agents at William Morris have posed the ripped 19-year old at a big star, lining up multi-million dollar roles (he will receive $5 million for Abduction), but what if he can't move past Twilight? (Neither Kristen Stewart nor Rob Pattinson has scored in a big way on their own outside the Twilight franchise.)

New York's Claude Brodesser-Akner looks at the possible fadeout of a teen idol:

William Morris has done a brilliant job of convincing Hollywood that he’s the next big movie star," says a senior production executive at a major studio, who asked not to be named because he regularly does business with Lautner’s agents and agency…

Another studio exec explains, “I remember when [Universal co-chairman] Donna Langley cast him in Stretch Armstrong, she said to me, 'He’s the real deal!' And I thought, Based on what?! Based on Twilight?” So what happens to his optimistic career if Abduction gets a harsh reality check at the box office? Current audience polling data shared with Vulture by studio sources suggests Abduction’s appeal looks to be very limited — not just by Lautner’s own narrow fan base of tween and young teen girls, but by intense competition this weekend. Only slightly less than three fourths (72 percent) of total people surveyed were aware of Abduction, and only a third or so of those (33 percent) expressed "definite interest" in seeing it.

Read the complete analysis at New York Magazine.

This article is related to: Box Office, Franchises, Genres, Hollywood, Marketing, Career Watch, Fall, Twilight, Fantasy, Action, Agencies


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.