In an age where moviegoers are spoiled with reboots and sequels, fans have become particularly picky when it comes to new installments of their beloved franchises — which might be why the internet felt personally attacked when it discovered that Taylor Lautner had turned down the opportunity to reprise his role in the Sharkboy and Lavagirl sequel.
The social unrest began when Netflix released some promotional photos for the sequel, titled We Can Be Heroes. For those who don’t know, Robert Rodriguez‘s 2005 action-adventure film starred Lautner and Taylor Dooley as the titular superheroes (who may or may not be figments of a child’s imagination) as they join forces to save the world.
It’s known for its cartoonish sets, over-the-top costumes, and frankly for the fact that it starred Lautner before the Twilight franchise made him an international teen heartthrob.
So imagine Twitter’s shock and dismay upon realizing that the hunky star was NOT in the promo pics for the film’s sequel because he apparently turned down the role. Yeah, not good.
While there is much to be excited over about this sequel — Sharkboy and Lavagirl have a kid now, y’all! — fans couldn’t get past the fact that the 28-year-old actor would not be returning as Sharkboy. Social media users fumed:
“Now why tf Taylor Lautner didn’t take one for the team and played his role as Sharkboy”
“Look, Taylor Lautner, I get it. At the height of the Twilight craze you were bigger than the Beatles, but sometimes life doesn’t go the way you hope. Now it’s time you return to your roots!”
“they’re ruining everything by remaking it…. but it’s the no Taylor Lautner for me”
“WHO IS THAT IMPOSTER AND Y ISN’T TAYLOR LAUTNER PLAYING SHARKBOY”
“They look great, but I feel betrayed by Taylor Lautner for not returning”
“how and why did Taylor Lautner say no to this I know damn well he’s not busy“
So what is Taylor doing now instead? Well, in 2016 he was on Scream Queens. Remember Scream Queens?? Then until 2018, he co-starred in the British sitcom Cuckoo… Yeah, that’s mostly it lately.
The new Sharkboy portrayer is J.J. Dashnaw, a stunt performer who has worked on several Marvel films — not to mention, Rodriguez’s 2001 classic Spy Kids. Impressive resume aside, he’s clearly still got big fins to fill.
Dooley, meanwhile, is reprising her role as Lavagirl, much to fans’ delight. We Can Be Heroes also stars Pedro Pascal, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Boyd Holbrook, and Christian Slater — but will those big names make up for the lack of Lautner?
You tell us, Perezcious readers: share your thoughts in the comments (below)!
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