UPDATE JAN 9: TAYLOR IS BACK FOR NEW MOON!
According to Ryan Seacrest on his syndicated radio talk show, actor Taylor Lautner, who played the character Jacob in November’s hit “Twilight” and was expected to reprise the role in the saga’s later installments, will not return in the second film, “New Moon.”
Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the “Twilight” franchise, allegedly paid leading man Robert Pattinson too much money to keep him for the next three films and could not afford the rest of the cast, Seacrest said.
“Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke was confirmed to not be returning for “New Moon” last week because she could not commit to the release schedule Summit wanted for the film.
In “New Moon,” Jacob (who Lautner played in “Twilight) plays the leading man role in the absence of Edward (Pattinson) — the love interest of main character, Bella.
Since its release on November 21, “Twilight” has grossed over $140 million, nearly quadrupling its $37 million budget.
Blast’s Editor-in-Chief John Guilfoil contributed to this report.