EXCLUSIVE: My scoop today comes with a big TOLDJA! Back on January 11th, I reported that three top producers including Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes were circling Taylor Lautner to star in their movies for 2012 and beyond. Now Bay’s aggressive courting of tay-tay has paid off, and last night the two filmmakers sent out a script for auction to all the major studios. I’ve learned that already this morning studios have begun bidding on a Bay-Lautner project. Like them or not, they’re individually successfully. But the duo didn’t do a dog-and-pony show to accompany the presentation as so many producers, directors, and stars are these days. Still, both Bay and Lautner (who’s on a brief break from shooting Breaking Dawn Part 2) are in town and available if any of the majors want a face-to-face. Bay and Lautner are not discussing the script’s story, but insiders tell me “it’s Mr & Mrs. Smith meets Wanted”. WME reps Lautner and Bay, while CAA reps the screenwriter Jason Hall who was handpicked by the duo.
Lautner continues very much in demand because of his enormous Twi-hard fan base and aggressive promotion of his films, and not because of any solo box office which the 19-year-old action star has done yet. (Lionsgate releases his thriller Abduction on September 23rd.) Tay-Tay started off 2011 by producing and starring in two new studio tentpoles, Incarceron at Fox 2000, and the Untitled Spy Project at New Regency, for 8-digit paychecks each. Not only was the 8-pack-abs teen heartthrob last year’s highest paid teenage actor (for a reported $7.5 million pay day in Universal’s Stretch Armstrong with Hasbro and Imagine) but he also just reached #9 on Vanity Fair‘s highest paid adult list, too. Taylor is scheduled to finish shooting the Twilight Saga’s Breaking Dawn this spring, and Fox 2000 and New Regency grabbed his two available slots for 2011. So Bay moved quickly to make a movie with Taylor’s limited availability for 2012. In addition to Transformers 3 with DreamWorks and Paramount, Bay’s Platinum Dunes produced I Am Number 4 with DreamWorks that opens this Friday for Disney.