Anyone reading The Movie Blog for any length of time knows that I have no problem at all with replacing an actor in a movie for a sequel. All other things being equal, keep the original actor… but switch them up if the need arises. James Bond in the Bond films, Dumbledore in Harry Potter, Rachel Dawes in the Batman films all prove you can do it and have it not effect the film too much.
However… I’m never big on the idea of just changing an actor just for the sake of changing them for no rhyme or reason, or for no other reason that just to put a “bigger name” in the role.
Personally, I liked the job Taylor Lautner did playing Jacob (the young native american werewolf in Twilight). He felt the most “real” to me and the film needed that. Well… according to our good friends over at IESB, seems like Taylor is on his way out, and the studio wants to bring in a bigger name:
Twilight fans noticed that although Stewart and Pattinson’s names were cited in the summary (of Twilight 2), Twilight’s Jacob Black played by Taylor Lautner was not. Today, an official release date for NEW MOON was revealed – November 20, 2009 and also a few names have been thrown into the ring to join (and replace) the cast.
According to MTV Movies Blog, Scorpion King 2’s Michael Copon is pushing hard to fill the Jacob Black shoes now that Summit doesn’t want to re-hire the “baby-faced” Lautner. Copon has gone as far as putting notes on his Facebook page, “Michael Copon in a Twilight Zone!” and “Michael Copon is the older Jacob Black!” And Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspain’s Ben Barnes is said to be seriously campaigning for the role in the film as well.
All things being equal, I do not like this at all. If we hear later that Taylor was hard to work with, or that he suddenly asked for 5x the money or anything like that… then fine, change the actor. No problem. But if this is just about “Oh, look how much money we made with the first Twilight, we can afford bigger names now”, then the studio execs are complete idiots. I like Copon and I like Barnes too… but don’t switch out the actors just for the sake of doing so.