Girls, fear not. Second in the affections of teens everywhere (behind the scream-inducing Robert Pattinson), Taylor Lautner will return to Forks in Twilight sequel New Moon. Unlike the rest of the cast, his return was initially in doubt because his character, Jacob Black, who steps forward as a central figure in the second book, is subject to major physical changes, which had led to rumours that the 16 year-old Lautner would need to be replaced. 

Golden Compass director Chris Weitz – who has himself replaced original Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke – made the announcement that Lautner would be back and is “emotionally right” for the part. He is now busy at the gym and dinner table, in an attempt to gain 19 pounds of muscle, whilst Pattinson can just sit around looking pretty and making sure he doesn’t get a suntan until shooting finishes.

New Moon sees Jacob Black become close friends with Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan, and also sees the introduction of a new group of supernatural shapeshifters into Bella’s already complicated life. The film is due for an incredibly quick November 20, 2009 US release, with the UK not far behind, so not long to wait!

Below is the official statement from Summit,

TAYLOR LAUTNER TO REPRISE HIS ROLE AS JACOB IN NEW MOON

Los Angeles, CA January 7, 2009 – Summit Entertainment and director Chris Weitz are pleased to confirm that Taylor Lautner will reprise his role as Jacob Black in the Twilight franchise’s next film installment New Moon.

“I’m very happy that Taylor will be playing Jacob Black in NEW MOON and that he’s doing so with the enthusiastic support of Summit, the producers and Stephenie Meyer,” said Weitz. “The characters in Stephenie’s books go through extraordinary changes of circumstance and also appearance; so it is not surprising that there has been speculation about whether the same actor would portray a character who changes in so many surprising ways throughout the series. But it was my first instinct that Taylor was, is, and should be Jacob, and that the books would be best served by the actor who is emotionally right for the part.”

“My experience on Twilight was wonderful and I am looking forward to continuing on with the team for New Moon,” said Lautner. “I have been working hard preparing for the physicality that this role will require and can’t wait to get started with the filming of New Moon.”

In NEW MOON, which will be released domestically November 20, 2009, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black. Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested. Production on New Moon is scheduled to begin in the coming months and the studio is planning to release the film on November 20, 2009.

The action-packed, modern day vampire love story and blockbuster success of the first film in the series entitled Twilight was released in theatres on November 21st grossing $69.6 million domestically during its first weekend. To date the film has grossed over $177 million domestically.

Lautner had the role of Jacob in Twilight and also has been seen in Cheaper By the Dozen 2 and The Adventures of Sharkboy & Lavagirl  3-D.

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