Entertainment behind the scenes
Hollywood is all about popularity, just like that other institution — high school. So, in the spirit of all things popular, movie ticket website Fandango.com has released its “Celebrity Yearbook Awards,” based on votes from fans about which stars they think are the most likely to succeed, and which ones already made their mark one way or another.
But Page’s “Juno” co-star Michael Cera fared much worse, being named “most awkward.” As it happens, not all the “Twilight” stars came out on top, because the movie’s female lead, Kristen Stewart, was also named “most awkward.”
It may have taken a casting controversy to do it, but actor Taylor Lautner has proven he is a “Twilight” fan favorite. Those fans of the vampire romance books and movie can celebrate now, because the studio behind the film says Lautner will reprise his role as Jacob Black in the sequel “New Moon,” with earlier concerns about him being too small for the role brushed aside.
Stephenie Meyer, the author behind the “Twilight” book series, said in a statement on her Web site on Wednesday that she was part of the decision to recast Lautner, along with the studio Summit Entertainment.
“I’m truly thrilled that Taylor was the one who proved to the director, to Summit, and to me that he is the best possible Jacob we could have,” Meyer said.
Jacob Black is a shape-shifter who turns into a wolf. When it became clear in December that he was not a lock for the part, “Twilight” readers cried foul on the myriad of fan Web sites that appeal to the book series’ readers, who are mostly young women and teens.
The problem with recasting the 16-year-old Lautner for “New Moon” was a physical one, because in the book series Jacob Black bulks up and grows about a foot taller between the first and second book. But Lautner has said he is working out for the role, and maybe he can count on a teenage growth spurt.
With Summit announcing late Wednesday that Lautner would be back to play Black, fans reacted quickly. On the fan Web site BellaAndEdward.com, one fan wrote, “I’ve been saying this whole time that it’s not about who is physically best for the role, it’s about who is emotionally best for the role.” On another fan site called HisGoldenEyes.com, fans said they were hyperventilating, crying and even shaking with joy at the casting choice. One fan named Tiffany wrote, “My life is complete now!” But despite the overwhelming positive reaction to the news, not everyone was happy. One fan named Khacie wrote, “What are you people thinking?! Taylor Lautner is NOT Jacob Black!”
“New Moon” comes out on Nov. 20. “Twilight” has made more than $177 million in the U.S. and Canada since it came out on Nov. 21, a whopping take for a film that cost about $37 million to make.
The blood is not yet dry on “Twilight,” the vampire romance movie based on author Stephenie Meyer’s book, but already fans are dissecting every announcement studio Summit Entertainment has made regarding the upcoming sequel.
The follow-up film “New Moon” will come out on Nov. 20, 2009, just a year after the first movie, prompting one commentator on the fan site Twilighters.org to write in full Web lingo, “Kool. We don’t have 2 wait too long.”
But it has not been all about breathless anticipation for the young and mostly female fans of “Twilight.” The latest controversy involves the casting of Jacob Black, a shape-shifter who turns into a wolf. In a statement about “New Moon,” Summit Entertainment named Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson as the actors who will reprise their romantic lead roles, but the studio did not name the actor for Black, who in the first movie was played by Taylor Lautner.
“Sorry, dude but you don’t beat out Taylor. I swear, if they change Taylor, Summit Entertainment will have a riot of teen girls and their parents on their hands,” one fan wrote on Monday at the fan site HisGodlenEyes.com.
AND HERE’S THE UPDATE: Lautner, 16, told cable channel MTV on Wednesday that he is packing on pounds so his physique can match the description Meyer gave his Jacob Black in “New Moon,” the book the sequel is based on. ”I have been working out,” Lautner told MTV. “I’ve been working out since the day we finished filming ‘Twilight.’ I just weighed myself today — I’ve put on 19 pounds.” Lautner added that he is guaranteeing the director of “New Moon” he will add 10 more pounds by the time filming starts.
The “Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” star Ben Barnes, 27, has been talked about as a possible actor in the sequel for another role, that of a vampire named Aro, and that has also generated buzz.
“If they keep casting really hot guys in these movies I will be hyperventilating all through the movie!,” one fan wrote on Monday at fan site Twilighters.org.
“Twilight” has already made more than $186 million worldwide since its Nov. 21 opening. That sets a high bar for the sequel, as “American Pie” filmmaker Chris Weitz takes over as director from Catherine Hardwicke. Commenting on the fan site EdwardandBella.net, an Internet user with the screen name Sweet Sofia wrote about the choice of Weitz, “I dunno. A Guy? We will wait and see.”