Northern Lights Rises with John Moore, Tom Cruise, and Taylor Lautner

Wait, what? What happened to Chuck Russell, who was supposed to direct this movie when we last reported on it almost two years ago? Apparently he’s gone bye-bye, because according to DHD, John Moore (“Max Payne”) has stepped up to direct, and Tom Cruise is now starring in the film about battling planes. And oh yeah, Taylor Lautner, the wolf kid from those “Twilight” movies the kids like so much, will be co-starring for a cool $7.5 million paycheck. Say it with me now: Yowsers!

The logline says the pic is about “a gifted, young, aerobatics pilot who faces off with his controlling, billionaire father and falls in love with a gifted, female pilot).

The logline makes it sound like Lautner is the star, but DHD calls the film “a Tom Cruise vehicle”, which would seem to mean Cruise is the “gifted, young, aerobatics pilot” described above. How old is Cruise now, 50? Maybe he’s the crazy billionaire father. That sounds about right.

The even bigger news is that Lautner, whose biggest roles to date have been co-starring in “The Twilight Saga” films, is being paid $7.5 million to co-star in “Northern Lights”. That’s a pretty huge paycheck for a 17-year old without any real track record at the box office. The “Twilight” movies don’t really count, because he wasn’t the star of those movies. Then there’s the “Max Steel” franchise that Paramount is itching to do with Lautner. Personally, I think that teenage version of “Die Hard” is his most promising film.

“Northern Lights” is scheduled to shoot April 1st.

Update: EW says Tom Cruise is not in the movie, there is no “billionaire father” character, and Lautner will be one of four pilots featured in the film. They also provide this logline:

“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.”

As to the matter of Lautner’s paycheck? The people who EW sourced didn’t have any comments, which is basically saying it’s true. Nice!

Hey, Kristen, I'm getting $7.5 million for a movie. Wanna go out?