[Update: We now learn that Tom Cruise is NOT in the film. See post for details]

Twilight star Taylor Lautner must be a very happy man, er boy, er teenager. I’m not really sure what the proper term for a seventeen-year-old is these days, but when they earn $7.5 million for an action movie, then I can only imagine that the word “lucky” should be mentioned at least somewhere in the paragraph.

Not only has the young actor won the starring role in Max Steel, but he has now signed on to star in the action film Northern Lights, a film that is (or possibly was) a Tom Cruise vehicle.

Irishman John Moore (Max Payne and Behind Enemy Lines) will helm the film about “a gifted young aerobatics pilot who faces off with his controlling billionaire father and falls in love with a gifted female pilot”.

Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood broke the news, but she doesn’t state if Cruise is still attached (if he is, then it’s one of many films that he currently has in development). To me it sounds like it may have, at one time, been developed for Cruise (maybe in the junior role) but it is possible that Cruise could be playing the billionaire father – after all, he did have a teenage son in War of The Worlds (as well as being a real life father).

Cruise Flying Again? (Nope)

For Lautner, it means that the young actor will become the highest paid teenage star in Hollywood, and it could be a return to Cruise’s Top Gun flying days.

UPDATE: Well, turns out Cruise is NOT involved with Northern Lights and never was. According to Entertainment Weekly, the actual plot of the film is as follows:

“Set against the backdrop of extreme flying, Northern Lights follows four young pilots as they compete against the world’s best. A story of teamwork, sacrifice, loss, and victory, these young aviators push themselves to physical and emotional limits in the unforgiving world of performance aerobatics.”

That logline would seem to place the focus of the film on the team of young pilots and their quest to be the best – not so much the father/son drama previously described. If this latest synopsis is indeed the correct one, it’s also hard to envision a suitable place for Tom Cruise to fit into all this. Sure, in terms of height you might not be able to pick him out of a crowd of high-flying youngsters, but the face would be a dead giveaway 😛 .

So, Northern Lights sounds more like Top Gun for the Twilight generation. Yay. Could be worse, though: at least the movie isn’t being billed as a Top Gun remake…

No start date is mentioned for the film, but it will have to be fitted in somewhere between Lautner’s Twilight duties and Max Steel, as well as Cruise’s hectic schedule, which already involves Mission: Impossible 4 and The Hardy Men, as well as many others.

At least mothers (grandmothers?) and daughters would be able to share movie-going experience, watching the hunky Lautner ( I don’t think that, but I know some chicks do) as well as the always-interesting Cruise.

More on Northern Lights when we hear it.

Source: Deadline Hollywood

Update source: Entertainment Weekly