Taylor Lautner Returns for Twilight Sequel New Moon

Summit Entertainment has announced that Taylor Lautner will reprise his role as Jacob Black in Chris Weitz‘s Twilight sequel adaptation New Moon. Apparently in the sequel, Jacob transformers into an almost totally different character – a foot taller, five years older, and a lot bigger. We have to believe that he can transform into a huge werewolf, and until today it was believed that the role would have to be recast. Quotes after the jump.
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Last week we told you that Chris Weitz was in talks to helm the Twilight sequel New Moon, and that the female director who launched the film series, Catherine Hardwicke had basically been let go by Summit Entertainment.

Well Weitz has since officially signed on to the project, and now Twilight author Stephanie Meyer has posted a message on her official website addressing Hardwicke’s departure and the hire of Weitz:

Like you, I’m sad that Catherine is not continuing on with us for New Moon. I’m going to miss her, not just as a brilliant director, but also as a friend. She has such a distinct, authentic voice that did amazing things for Twilight. I’m looking forward to every movie she does in the future. And she didn’t leave us empty handed. We still get the benefits of her amazing casting and the beautiful visual world she created. This foundation puts us in a good place for New Moon.”

“Summit Films is moving forward with a new director for New Moon. They’ve asked Chris Weitz, director of American Pie, About a Boy, and The Golden Compass, to join us, and I am very pleased to announce that he’s agreed to be a part of our Twilight world. I’ve had the chance to talk to Chris, and I can tell you that he is excited by the story and eager to keep the movie as close to the book as possible. He is also very aware of you, the fans, and wants to keep you all extremely happy. (Torches and pitchforks are not going to be necessary.) I’m excited to work with Chris and I think he brings a lot to the table, not the least of which for me is that he wrote the screenplay for and directed one of my favorite movies of all time, About a Boy. I’m really looking forward to seeing his vision for New Moon.”

Sounds like a bit of fan pr if you ask me. And to top this off, Chris Weitz himself has written a message to the Twilighters. You can read that message after the jump.

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The Golden Compass Sizzle Reel Revealed

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A “sizzle reel” for New Line Cinema’s new epic fantasy adaptation The Golden Compass was discovered online this weekend. The footage is still available, so we’re guessing that the movie studio isn’t too concerned. Basically, the footage was put together for exhibitors and merchandisers to see at ShoWest. The featurette proclaims that the film is “the next evolution of fantasy filmmaking.” And the first footage looks very promising (at least more so than Narnia). Check the video clip out after the jump.

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The Golden Compass Movie Poster

Golden Compass PosterLast June, New Line Cinema announced it was making the next fantasy epic. In January we brought you the first photos from the movie. And now we have the theatrical movie poster courtesy of LatinoReview, direct from ShoWest. As always, give a click for a larger view.

Based on Philip Pullman’s bestselling and award-winning novel, His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass is New Line’s next huge fantasy epic adaptation. The reported $150 million pricetag makes it the studio’s biggest-budget project since The Lord of the Rings.

The story follows the coming of age of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they “wander through a multiverse and a backdrop of epic events.” The books were marketed to children, but it has garnered a large adult readership. The story features fantasy elements such as gypsies, witches, and armoured bears.

Written and directed by Chris Weitz, His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass stars Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott, Ian McShane and Dakota Blue Richards. The movie and book are the first in a trilogy. The film opens on December 7th 2007.

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