Taylor Lautner's Gus Van Sant Role Will Make Him a Real Star

If you'd asked me earlier this morning what sort of career trajectory I had in mind for Taylor Lautner, I would have guessed a series of crappy action movies/lukewarm rom-coms—followed by a swift fade from the public eye. Nothing against the kid, he just doesn't come across like the strongest actor in the entire world, you know? Also, based on his popularity in the Twilight series, it appeared that he'd found the formula that worked best for him: look tortured, find excuse to tear off shirt. Repeat until closing credits.

I may have to revamp my Lautner-based predictions, though, because according to The Hollywood Reporter, Taylor's next role might surprise us all. Apparently, the guy known best as Jacob Black is finalizing a deal to star in and produce a small budget independent film—and he's teaming up with Gus Van Sant to do so.


Yes, Taylor Lautner is going to be working with Gus Van Sant. As in, Gus Van Sant the Academy-Award-nominated arthouse director behind My Own Private Idaho, Drugstore Cowboy, To Die For, Goodwill Hunting, and Milk. I don't know about you, but I can hardly think of a more unlikely pairing.

The details on the project are few and far between, but apparently the film is based on a nonfiction article from the New Yorker. Whatever the storyline will be, it seems that Lautner isn't content to sit back and smolder his way through the script on the acting side of things, because the movie will be produced under his own Quick Six production banner. Dude, 19-year-old Taylor Lautner has a production company! Who knew?

This also explains why Van Sant and Lautner were photographed together having dinner with Milk writer Dustin Lance a while ago, which spurred a bizarre question from GQ Australia as to whether or not Van Sant or Lance—who are openly gay—had hit on Lautner. Lance (hilariously) later replied:

I'm curious, will you be asking all of the handsome actors I've ever had the privilege of working with or meeting if I made passes at them as well? I'd love to be there when you ask Sean Penn that same question. Or, Mr. GQ writer, were you projecting your own unprofessional desires onto me and Gus? Perhaps? Or worse still, are you a homophobe?

Duh, GQ, they weren't hitting on him—they were ironing out the details of an upcoming creative project! Which ... okay, fine, I can see how this wasn't your first guess, but STILL.

I have to give Lautner a lot of credit for this move, because he could certainly be focusing on his commercial opportunities right now—after all, Michael Bay is said to be vying for Lautner to star in one of his upcoming blowing-shit-up movies. Working with Gus Van Sant is a surprising choice, and one that makes me respect his efforts to carve out a serious movie career. It should be interesting to see what comes of this partnership, don't you think?

Do you think working with Gus Van Sant is a smart move for Taylor Lautner?

Image via Flickr/evarinaldiphotography

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