Robert Rodriguez has one of the most intriguing filmmaker careers one can have. While the writer/director is best known for his more bloody affairs like Sin City, Machete and From Dusk Till Dawn, for an entire generation who grew up in the early ‘00s with his family-friendly movies. The Spy Kids trilogy of course left a mark, because how can one forget thumb-thumbs? Another memorable one is 2005’s The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl starring a 13-year-old Taylor Lautner before his Twilight werewolf days.
Rodriguez surprised fans this morning with an espresso shot of nostalgia with the reveal of Sharkboy and Lavagirl all grown up for his upcoming movie We Can Be Heroes. The Netflix movie will have the filmmaker returning to family movies as a group of kids band together to save their parents from aliens. Among the parents is Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Yep. Take a look:
Well this is awesome. Taylor Dooley looks great back in her Lavagirl suit and bright pink hair for We Can Be Heroes. The production value looks incredible and as Robert Rodriguez reveals, the pair have a kid together named Guppy. You can briefly see their daughter, played by Vivien Lyra Blair, who was Girl in Bird Box. But there’s a massive shark in the room, not not the one on the right… where the heck is Taylor Lautner?
Next to Taylor Dooley’s Lavagirl is a Sharkboy rocking the new and improved suit, but this time donning a fin mask over his head. It’s clearly not Taylor Lautner, but instead stunt actor JJ Dashnaw. The reveal bothered fans right away, creating a conversation so massive that Taylor Lautner’s name has been trending all day. Check out one response:
Following Taylor Lautner’s early work as Sharkboy and in Cheaper by the Dozen 2, the actor of course moved to a number of years in the spotlight as the Team Jacob side of the Twilight hype. Following his fame, the actor has not followed in the footsteps of his counterpart Robert Pattinson, who has gone on to receive critical acclaim for movies like Good Time and soon become The Batman for DC. In the near decade since the actor’s leave from Jacob Black, he’s had a total of six roles with The Ridiculous 6 and Scream Queens being among his credits. He’s surely missed on We Can Be Heroes as you can see:
Imagine the power We Can Be Heroes with both Taylors back in their suits? Sadly, Lautner is not a part of the project for an unknown reason. The movie does have a massive cast including The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Christian Slater and Haley Reinhart. And it’s unclear how prominent Sharkboy and Lavagirl will be to the movie. But it’s the principle of it all.
The awesome reveal was taken away in a sense because the reaction was so focused on who was not there. The internet showed some contempt toward the 28-year-old actor who either decided not to, didn’t have time to or was not asked to join this reunion. It is a bummer, but fans are really roasting Lautner now on Twitter:
We Can Be Heroes debuts on Netflix on New Year’s Day, January 1. For many, we’re walking into the new year with a bit of disappointment about what could have been. At least we can dream, dream, dream! Check out what else is coming next year with CinemaBlend’s 2021 release schedule.
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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.