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Taylor Lautner signs on for extreme flying film; Tom Cruise doesn't

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Contrary to reports stating otherwise, Tom Cruise will not be costarring in the forthcoming Taylor Lautner action flick Northern Lights. Though the idea of Cruise playing the controlling billionaire father of a young aerobatics pilot (Lautner) does sound pretty great, a rep for David Ellison’s Skydance Productions tells EW that character does not exist and that Cruise is not attached to the project in any way. The official 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.”

The film — which, to be fair, does sound a bit like Top Gun with a need for speed and [insert imaginary word that means flips but rhymes] — will be directed by John Moore (Max Payne, Flight of the Phoenix, Behind Enemy Lines). Production begins this April in Louisiana.

I, for one, am loving this. When I think of hot young pilots, I think of leather jackets, and Lautner, who will be 18 when he gets his wings, happens to look great in those. We also know that Taylor — who was a four-time world champion of extreme martial arts by age 11, and is the reigning Late Night motorccyle racing champ — isn’t afraid to push it. If action movies are what he wants to do, let him. The Twilight Saga will continue to show his softer side; pics like Northern Lights could even out his fan base.

What do you think of Lautner as a young flyboy? (He’ll reportedly earn $7.5 million for the role. The Skydance rep had no comment.) Who would you like to see cast as the other three pilots? I suppose Jesse McCartney has the hair for it…

Photo credit: Bob Charlotte/PR Photos