By Samantha Ofole-Prince
Photos by Jennifer Cooper
“They are going to see a whole new Taylor Lautner, says Oscar nominated director John Singleton, whose espionage action-thriller “Abduction,” echoes similarities to an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.
“It’s a man on the run movie,” continues the director, screenwriter, and producer. “Alfred Hitchcock started that whole man on the run movie, and it’s kinda like “North by Northwest,” he explains.
The first film he has directed in six years since “Four Brothers,” Singleton, who was nominated for an Oscar in 1990 for his directional debut flick “Boyz n the Hood,” has followed up with box office successes that include the 1993 Tupac Shakur starring drama “Poetic Justice,” the 1995 ensemble campus tale “Higher Learning” and “Rosewood,” a drama based on the real-life 1923 massacre and destruction of an African-American town in Florida. There are also commercial fares such as “Hustle & Flow” and “Black Snake Moan,” which he produced, “Shaft” with Samuel L. Jackson and “2 Fast 2 Furious,” an action drama much like “Abduction.”
“I like fun movies and I thought it would be fun to do this,” he explains. “My daughter wanted me to do it. Taylor is so big and my daughter met him and said, dad you have to do a movie with him. It all happened very quickly as the script had been sold to the studio. Within a month and half, Taylor was attached and I was attached a month after that.”
Staring Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Maria Bello, and Sigourney Weaver, “Abduction” circles around Taylor Lautner’s, character Nathan, whose life unravels when he stumbles upon an image of himself as a little boy on a missing persons website. Just as he begins to piece together his true identity, he is targeted by a team of trained killers, forcing him on the run with the only person he can trust, his neighbor, Karen (Lily Collins).
“I like to shoot all kinds of different things, and I have worked with a lot of different types of talent and always like to do something that will further me as a filmmaker,” explains Singleton on how he has been able to tackle all film genres.
Singleton, who shot the music video for Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” has also established the acting careers of hip-hop artists Ice Cube and Tyrese and believes in working with relatively new actors such as Denzel Washington (“The Great Debaters,” “My Soul to Take.”) who plays Taylor’s best friend in the movie.
The 43 year-old director who graduated from the University of Southern California’s Filmic Writing Program in 1990, has directed and produced several films in his twenty year career, but despite the success of these movies, he will admit there’s always a pressure to succeed.
“I am the captain of the ship and drive the whole thing forward, and people have fun working with me, but I do feel pressure sometimes.”
With several other projects in development, movies which Singleton won’t delve details on, he certainly has high hopes for “Abduction, which releases in theaters September 23.
“You always want to give the best as possible. With this, I want to take Taylor’s career to the next level.”