Lautner played the Native American character in the box office smash, and was expected to continue his portrayal of the part in the movie's highly anticipated follow-up--in which Black becomes a pivotal character.
But moviemaker Chris Weitz, who has taken over the director's chair from Twilight's Catherine Hardwicke, is planning to offer the part to a more established actor, according to industry reports.
Prince Caspian star Barnes and Scorpion King 2 actor Copon are reportedly both in the running to take over from Lautner.
In a word, no. But maybe he's already searching for an indigenous princess among his Filipino ancestors and an Indian princess among his white ancestors. Maybe he's already compiling a binder of Quileute legends to show how he knows the Quileute people.
It's amazing how stupid Hollywood is being about this. Copon resembles Lautner enough to be his older brother. His only advantage is that he doesn't have a cute button nose that makes him look like a girl.
Do Twilight's producers really think any brown-skinned pretty boy is equivalent to a Native? Would they cast Lautner or Copon to star in a biopic of Michael Jordan or Bruce Lee? How is it that Natives are the only ethnic group where authenticity doesn't matter?
Sharkboy can't cut it?
And what's up with the firing of Lautner? Were his thespian abilities not up to snuff? Did he act unprofessionally on the set? Did someone decide he was too cute to play a werewolf? How did the producers not discover his flaws, whatever they were, before choosing him to star in a potential billion-dollar franchise?
These people spent a couple of years planning and executing Twilight. They spent perhaps $100 million to make and market it. But after all this--after the movie has played in theaters a month--now they realize they miscast one of the key roles? Has anyone on the Twilight team heard of auditions, rehearsals, focus groups, or test screenings?
If Twilight's producers had been around in 1940, I can just imagine their casting Laurence Olivier in Gone with the Wind or Bette Davis in The Wizard of Oz. "Oops, we made a mistake," they would've said after the movies debuted to criticism. "Maybe we should've gone with a rogue for Rhett Butler and a singer for Dorothy."
For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.
Below: Indian wannabes Taylor Lautner and Michael Copon.