While any true “Twilight” fan knows Taylor Lautner was a child martial arts superstar, it wasn’t until his recent gig hosting “SNL” that the rest of the nation got to see his physical capabilities. And, according to Hasbro CEO and “Stretch Armstrong” producer Brian Goldner, it was that exhibition of skill that earned him the role of title Stretch.
“He is a real actor,” Brian told MTV News of Taylor, who showed his allegiance to Hasbro yesterday at the Toy Fair. “And it was so clear to us as we saw him in ‘Twilight.’ And we look for insights from every audience about where we should go with our brands, so when I saw my daughter and all of her friends go crazy for him, and then I saw the background that he was also this mixed martial arts expert in that ‘Saturday Night Live’ piece… that was the real deal.”
The “Stretch Armstrong” deal came shortly after Taylor signed on to bring another toy superhero to the big screen, Mattel’s “Max Steel.” Taylor’s strong fan following and physical attributes were sure to help the decision-making process, but Brian said Taylor’s aerobic capabilities were just one of many parallels he saw between Taylor and Stretch Armstrong. Taylor
“He’s an accidental superhero. Really what he is, is he’s going to be a guy much like himself,” Brian explained. “A guy who knows mixed martial arts, a guy who is going off to college, a guy who’s trying to have a freshman year at college something along those lines and everything kind of ensues from there.”
We doubt with all his upcoming films the newly legal Taylor will have time to become a college undergrad, but still we think the parallels fit. And we’re glad that “SNL’s” cultural impact has extended to earning a deserving young actor one more role to add to his filmography.
Tag Archives: ‘Max Steel’ The Movie
As Taylor Lautner’s Hollywood profile surges, his handlers are looking for a project for the teen wolf to sink his teeth into next. One strong possibility: “Max Steel,” a Paramount movie about a teenage superhero.
The actor’s representatives at WME and Management 360 are brainstorming about the next move for the 17-year-old Michigan native who plays Jacob in the “Twilight” franchise. Lautner emerged as the big winner after the blockbuster success of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” but, at the moment, his only other big-screen appearance on deck is a character role in Garry Marshall’s ensemble romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day.” That movie has wrapped, so Lautner has a relatively open calendar.
Paramount, meanwhile, is eager to develop more toy properties along the lines of its “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” franchises. Like those films, “Steel” traces back to the toy shelf — the Mattel line that hit stores in 2001, pulled in $100 million in worldwide business in its first year and spawned an animated series that lasted three seasons.
Lautner would play Josh McGrath, a 19-year-old extreme-sports athlete who is accidentally exposed to the unleashed power of nanotechological machines, which become part of him and (in the old show, at least) give him increased strength, near-invulnerability and the ability to change his appearance.
It’s worth noting that Paramount and other studios are eager to cast Lautner because he can bring young women into theaters — always a positive for any action picture.
J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani are on board to write (they’re also writing the screenplay for the Warner Bros. superhero action movie “Capeshooters,” based on the Rob Liefeld comic book, as well as the Liefeld property “Youngblood“). The script for “Steel” is still being written, which means it could be a while before Lautner actually is seen onscreen in even the most favorable of circumstances. (Paramount and WME declined comment.)
For now, Lautner can continue to draft off his “New Moon” success: This weekend he completes a pop-culture rite of passage by hosting “Saturday Night Live.”