Alright, I know this isn’t usually the kind of thing I report on, but this ridiculous Twilight drama has been one of the my favorite stories of the past few months, and I’ve been following it rather closely. In case you didn’t know, Taylor Lautner, the 16 year-old actor who played Jacob in the breakout blockbuster of the season, the emo vampire film Twilight, was in serious jeopardy of losing his role in the sequel, New Moon. Producers and Director Chris Weitz were extremely concerned that baby-faced Lautner was not butch and beefy enough to carry on the role of Jacob Black, who in the novel New Moon, becomes a werewolf and suddenly looks like a 25 year-old man. Rumors were rampant that Michael Copon, an older, stronger actor would be recast in the role.
Well, Taylor Lautner and his legion of fangirls were not about to go down without a fight! For his part, Taylor desperately packed on 19 pounds of muscle, and promised the director that he would gain ten more by the time filming started. The rest of the battle was up to the Twilight fangirls. Thousands of teenage girls made or watched Taylor/Jacob tribute videos on YouTube, they signed online petitions, they wrote letters to Summit Entertainment, they trolled on message boards, they launched sites like this one to support their beloved Taylor. And guess what? They won! Chris Weitz just released a statement via Twilight author, Stephanie Meyer’s web site:
I’m very happy to announce that Taylor Lautner will be playing Jacob Black in New Moon and that he’s doing so with the enthusiastic support of Summit Entertainment, the producers, and Stephenie Meyer.
Well, there you have it, fangirls. Congratulations. You successfully got your favorite heartthrob his role back, and you proved the immense power of crazy fans on the internet! Here’s a question, though. If Lautner had not been cast in the sequel, how do you think New Moon‘s box office would have been affected? There have been many cases where an actor has been recast (e.g. Batman dropping Katie Holmes), and the franchise didn’t miss a beat. And it’s not like this is the Harry Potter universe, and we have stuck with these same actors for five movies already. Would New Moon have done as well as Twilight, which has already earned $178 million? I feel like it would have been just fine. After all, moviegoers (and especially teen moviegoers) are notoriously fickle but forgetful. Remember how disturbed everyone was when Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond? The internet was alive with complaints about his blond hair and strange demeanor, but Casino Royale ended up reinvigorating the whole franchise. The Twilight phenomenon is certainly nothing like the James Bond franchise, but I’m just saying that all the hullabaloo about recasting is often much ado about nothing.
But don’t get me wrong- I’m excited for Taylor Lautner and the fangirls that they fought the good fight and got him back in the role of Jacob Black. And I’ve never even seen Twilight! I just really wanted to see Michael Copon not get the part, because this guy seems like a douchebag. He kept trying to promote himself to the public, but he found out that when you go up against a generation of rabid fangirls, you will lose. He’s probably regretting interviews like this.