Taylor Lautner was on top of the world after he first made his appearance in Twilight back in 2008. Despite the movie adaptations garnering terrible reviews from critics, Twilight inexplicably grew in population as each film came out. Before the “epic” conclusion to the franchise was released, Lautner was finally given an opportunity to be a leading man in 2011’s Abduction. The feature had an all-star cast such as Jason Isaacs, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver, and Maria Bello, along with Oscar nominee John Singleton attached as the director. However, despite all the promising pieces to the puzzle, it’s impossible to overcome a bad script as the film was trashed by critics. Granted, Lautner was no stranger to bad reviews thanks to Twilight and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl; however, once the popular vampire franchise was over, so was Lautner’s film career as a leading man.
The former Twilight star has mostly been working on independent features, with his last main stream movie being Twilight: Breaking Pt. 2. So, did Abduction kill his career as a leading man? Considering the fact that the film only garnered $82.10 million at the box office then it’s likely a strong reason. Granted, the film did manage to make back its $35 million production costs, but considering Lautner was a part of one of the hottest franchises of all-time, it’s still a disappointing number. Let’s dive deeper into the reasoning why Abduction ultimately killed Lautner’s career.
Abduction Exposed Taylor Lautner’s Acting Ability
Taylor Lautner is likely a nice guy and I’m 98.9% sure he was giving it his all in Abduction; however, the truth is that the Twilight star is just not good at acting. Lautner got away with that in the vampire series because A) he was playing a hot guy whose main role was to walk around shirtless B) he wasn’t fully the focus of the Twilight franchise. Was his acting ability exposed in the Twilight saga? Definitely, but the fanbase didn’t care because he was the shirtless lover boy for Bella. Abduction was the first movie for Lautner where he had to count on his acting ability, not his model looks to get him by. What’s worse? Lautner was surrounded by a top-tier cast of veterans, so his bad acting stuck out like a sore thumb. Unfortunately, Lautner seemingly had only two emotions: stone-faced or stoic. It’s clear that John Singleton tried to get the best out of the young star, but Lautner’s limitations couldn’t be hidden behind this action vehicle. Abduction is a convoluted and contrived mess due to its horrendous script, so Lautner simply couldn’t overcome that. However, we’ve seen plenty of actors excel in a role despite a terrible feature, so the blame on Lautner’s acting ability isn’t the script’s problems.
Taylor Lautner Asking Price Was Likely Too High
Kirsten Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner were stars thanks to Twilight. However, it’s notable that all three of their careers dropped once the franchise ended. Pattinson worked his way through the indie scene and slowly shed his Twilight image by starring in strong features that highlighted his acting ability. Pattinson is now back in the mainstream as Bruce Wayne for Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Kirsten Stewart has managed to bounce back herself, with talks that the actress might be nominated for an Academy Award following her turn as Princess Diana in Spencer. I bring those two actors up because Stewart and Pattinson were smart enough to work their way back up by selectively picking indie projects that shed their Twilight image. Reportedly, Lautner demanded $5 million to star in Abduction. When the film ultimately bombed at the box office, so did his opportunity at commanding a big paycheck. The Twilight star was pulled from Stretch Armstrong because the asking price of $7.5 million was too high. So was the $10 million for the David and Goliath film. Both movies were shelved indefinitely. Eventually, Lautner tried to rebound with both Tracers and Run the Tide; however, both features were trashed by critics. At this point, Lautner was no longer a hot topic amongst Tinseltown. Abduction desperately needed to succeed in order to prove that the Twilight star was a bankable actor. He wasn’t. His most notable movie since Twilight was the Adam Sandler vehicle, The Ridiculous Six, which currently holds the rare rotten tomatoes score of 0%. Is it possible that Lautner can make a big comeback like his co-stars? He can; however, Lautner needs to make a string of excellent indie films that highlight his strength as an actor. Until he does that, the chances of him helming a big feature again are extremely slim.