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Could Taylor Lautner be feeling invincible?

March 23, 2010 |  6:00 pm

EXCLUSIVE: The race to direct the new Taylor Lautner movie “Abduction” is entering the homestretch.

Lautn We previously reported that "Boyz n the Hood" director John Singleton and "The Express" filmmaker Gary Fleder were in the mix for the director's job. Sources now say the studio is also considering "Invincible" director Ericson Core. 

Core has met with the studio, several of the film’s producers and Lautner, sources say, and is considered a leading candidate. (We mentioned in the previous post that there was a veteran Hollywood hand in the running too who was further back in the race; that person is still further back (and isn't Core).

Core is a cinematographer-turned-director who, in addition to directing the underdog sports movie "Invincible," is also on board to direct the next installment in the "XXX" political action franchise.

Lionsgate is expected to make a decision on an "Abduction" director as early as next week, with the production carrying a certain urgency. Shooting is slated to start in July, and it's a narrow production window -- the movie needs to shoot before Lautner begins filming the next installment in the “Twilight” franchise, "Breaking Dawn," in the fall.

"Abduction" is also a priority for Lautner, who has made the project the first film of his newly launched Tailor Made production company.

"Abduction" comes from an original script by Shawn Christensen, and involves a teenager who slowly begins to discover that he's not who his parents have always said he is. The competition to land a gig like "Abduction" -- a high-profile film that's likely to shoot imminently -- is generally intense, with a barrage of meetings, horsetrading and recon missions among the various parties.

Singleton, Fleder and Core, however, are linked in unexpected ways: All three came out of the USC film school  at approximately the same time, and Core did photography work on Fleder's thriller "Don't Say a Word."

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Taylor Lautner. Credit: James White / Summit Entertainment