Yesterday's report about Gus van Sant casting Taylor Lautner in his next movie was one of those casting notices so bizarre you know it was to be true. But understanding that Taylor Lautner really will be acting for van Sant is quite different from understanding why. Why has the star of Abduction wormed his way into the heart of the director of Milk? Why is Gus van Sant allowing the forced Lautner takeover of the United States to continue? Why didn't he finally explain his Psycho remake before making this inexplicable move?
We may never know, but that won't stop us from speculating. Here's 5 possible explanations for this strange, unholy matchup.
Lautner optioned the New Yorker article the movie is based on. No, we don't know which New Yorker article-- though I'm hoping it's somehow this one about Mummar Qaddafi, because how weird would that be. But maybe it's a truly awesome New Yorker article that van Sant really wanted, and he's willing to take Lautner along as excess baggage.
Van Sant needed a big teen star, and Lautner came cheap. Sure, he was getting paid $7.5 million a few movies ago-- but I'm betting that the box office fizzle of Abduction put a damper on that. And yes, van Sant hasn't hesitated to work with completely unknown teens in movies like Paranoid Park and Elephant, but he also put super-famous Matt Damon in Gerry just to have him wander around in the desert. He's not immune to celebrity.
Van Sant really wants to direct Stretch Armstrong. Hey, it's Lautner's next project! And it sounds just suitably weird enough for Van Sant to sorta want to get on Lautner's good side so he can get the gig! (Note: this is not a likely explanation)
Van Sant is making a movie about soulless, blank teenagers, and Lautner is perfect for it. This isn't as much of a stretch as you think-- Paranoid Park, by featuring non-actor teenagers, had some of the most blank and affectless acting you'll ever see, and it worked perfectly in context. Lautner just happens to be blank and affectless and sells tickets. A wild idea, but it just might work!
Secret celebrity cabal. For all we know, they've been playing racquetball every week together for the last three years. Famous people are strange sometimes.
OK, even if you don't buy any of these theories, there's got to be some logical explanation for this truly strange pairings. Any of you out there have better ideas?