Taylor Lautner, one of the most popular actors on the planet thanks to his portrayal of werewolf Jacob Black in the "Twilight" franchise, is coming to Pittsburgh to make a movie called "Abduction."
Shooting is expected to start in July, a Lionsgate representative confirmed last night, and where Mr. Lautner goes, frenzied members of "Team Jacob" follow. The 18-year-old could make the hunt for Russell Crowe in a neighborhood bar or Jake Gyllenhaal in Whole Foods seem like amateur hour.
That's because Mr. Lautner is part of a tortured trio in "Twilight." He's a werewolf, Robert Pattinson plays dreamy vampire Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart is Bella Swan, a high school student and human who loves Edward but doesn't want to lose Jake as a friend.
Mr. Lautner's arrival in July would come directly on the heels of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," the third movie based on novelist Stephenie Meyer's vampire series. It's being released June 30.
John Singleton, a double Oscar nominee for writing and directing "Boyz N the Hood," is expected to direct "Abduction," about a teen who begins to realize he's not who his parents claim.
The website Comingsoon.net reports that, in the movie, the boy discovers his own baby picture on a missing persons website, which unleashes a chain of violent events. Shawn Christensen wrote the original script.
"Abduction" is being made by Lionsgate, which came to Pittsburgh last year to film the mixed martial arts movie "Warrior" along with the suspense thriller "The Next Three Days" starring Mr. Crowe. Lionsgate also made "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" here and the TV series "The Kill Point."
Mr. Singleton, who recently made "Four Brothers," "2 Fast 2 Furious," "Baby Boy" and "Shaft," was just 24 when he became the youngest person and first African American to be nominated for a best director Oscar for 1991's "Boyz." He also scored a nod for the screenplay, about friends in gang-ridden South Central Los Angeles.
As fans know, Mr. Lautner also is no one-hit wonder.
Long before it was fashionable, he starred in a 3-D movie called "Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl" for director Robert Rodriguez. In December, he hosted "Saturday Night Live" and in February, he and Taylor Swift played high school sweeties in the romantic comedy "Valentine's Day."
Pennsylvania's tax credit program is once again being cited for helping to lure moviemakers here.
"The film tax credit has been extremely successful for Southwestern Pennsylvania. We had approximately $100 million in new money in 2009 and are hoping for the same or better for 2010," Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office, said yesterday.
The office is awaiting final numbers from "Unstoppable," "The Next Three Days" and "Love and Other Drugs."
"We have several projects that are seriously considering Southwestern PA for summer shoots and are hopeful that we will get a green light and be able to announce good news very soon," she said.
Contact movie editor Barbara Vancheri at email@example.com or 412-263-1632. Read her Mad About the Movies blog at post-gazette.com/movies. First Published March 31, 2010 4:00 AM