Looks like the ‘Stretch Armstrong’ movie has found a new home. In a press release from Relativity Media today, the studio announced their partnership with toy company Hasbro Toy Inc. to develop and produce a live-action tent-pole film based on the 1970’s action hero figure toy Stretch Armstrong, the unique toy that could be stretched out, twisted and folded and would always return to its original form.
You may recall, ‘Stretch Armstrong’ was part of a deal made by Universal and Hasbro in 2008 to create films based on several Hasbro properties beginning with ‘Battleship.’ During the film’s development at Universal, the studio was eyeing several release dates that keep being pushed back for one reason or another. Director Rob Letterman (‘Gulliver’s Travels’, ‘Shark Tale’) was signed on to helm the project as was Taylor Lautner (‘The Twilight Saga’ movie series). Lautner was to star in the lead for a reported $7.5million paycheck. At the time, Paramount was also pursuing Lautner for the lead of their version of the Mattel toy ‘Max Steel,’ but apparently he turned them down due to scheduling conflicts and the larger offer from Universal. Lautner also turned down the role in ‘Northern Lights’, a film about extreme performance aerobatics, to be in Stretch.
‘Stetch Armstrong’ was still being considered as a possible project for Universal after the studios decided to drop other Hasbro properties including ‘Ouija,’ ‘Monopoly,’ and ‘Candy Land’ due to budget concerns. Now it looks like they also decided against continuing to move forward on ‘Stretch’ film and let it go only to be picked up by Relativity.
Relativity Co-President Tucker Tooley says of the partnership:
“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Hasbro, a company whose global reach and ability to innovate has made them immensely successful in the arena of brand re-imagination– as evidenced by their legacy of creating such franchises as Transformers and G.I. Joe. We look forward to bringing Stretch Armstrong to audiences worldwide.”
Lautner is no longer attached to the film with his camp citing it was their choice to pull out. But a project insider told Deadline that after his latest film ‘Abduction’ had bombed at the box office, executives were rethinking about the casting choices and Hasbro would make final decisions regarding the project. It looks like that’s what they did. Also no longer attached to direct is Letterman.
So it looks like Relativity is starting from scratch. Although there is no official cast or director for the project, Relativity did announce an April 11, 2014 release date.
With a possible ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot in the works, will there be room for another stretchy expandable superhero?