‘Twilight’ actor Taylor Lautner aims for indie cred as star of new Gus Van Sant film

Wow, what exactly is going on today? First we get wind that Amanda Seyfried is in talks to star as ’70s porn actress Linda Lovelace, then we hear that Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Emma Roberts are angling for adult legitimacy in a film written and directed by freaking Harmony Korine, and now – now! – Taylor Lautner is negotiating to star in a new Gus Van Sant movie. Is your head spinning yet?

Anyway, it appears that the recent rumors of a Lautner/Van Sant collaboration are true, as the Hollywood Reporter has broken the news that the “Twilight” actor is “finalizing a deal” to star in an independent movie to be directed by the acclaimed filmmaker, who most recently helmed the little-seen romantic drama “Restless” starring Henry Hopper and Mia Wasikowska. The project, the plot details of which haven’t yet been disclosed, is based on a non-fiction article in The New Yorker that Lautner recently optioned via his production shingle Quick Six.

While no screenwriter has yet been announced for the project, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Oscar-winning scribe Dustin Lance Black were to emerge as the lucky pick (not a bad guess, given both Black and Van Sant’s previous highly-successful collaboration on “Milk” and the fact that the two were recently spotted dining with Lautner – who was asked about and confirmed the meeting in a recent GQ Australia interview – at a Los Angeles restaurant).

In any case, Lautner is obviously attempting to establish some measure of “respectability” with this new project, reportedly a small-budget affair that looks to veer sharply from his “Twilight” roots. Of course, his first starring effort outside the blockbuster teen-vamp franchise was the recent action-thriller “Abduction”, which failed to catch fire with either critics or audiences when it was released in September. It goes without saying that the young thesp can’t afford many more clunkers like that if he’s going to keep his career afloat once the “Twilight” series – the next entry of which is “Breaking Dawn – Part 1”, releasing Nov. 18th – reaches the end of its run next year.