Although their attempt to make a movie with Taylor Lautner based on the 70s toy Stretch Armstrong came to naught, it doesn’t mean that toy manufacturer Hasbro and studio Relativity have given up on the idea. They are poised to make another try and to that end have hired Dean Georgaris to write a new screenplay for the project.
According to Variety, Georgaris will be taking a direction that should deliver a “plausible, action oriented family pic” for the studio. I’m not sure how you fit the word “plausible” into a pitch for a character who can stretch himself to ridiculous lengths, especially with the writer of 2004’s fairly preposterous The Manchurian Candidate attached.
Relativity must be pretty confident that this attempt will prove successful as they have already announced an April 11, 2014 release date. Is this a case of putting the cart before the-as-yet-to-be-born horse? We’ll see.
Universal may have passed on developing a movie based on Hasbro’s Stretch Armstrong toy as part of the studio’s overall deal with the toy manufacturer, but Relativity is certainly interested in the prospect. Relativity announced today that they are picking up the option to make a film based on the rubbery hero.
It is not known how much of the work that was done at Universal will carry over to the new project, but the Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog is reporting that star Taylor Lautner and director Rob Letterman, who were attached to the project while it was at Universal, have dropped out.
The Stretch Armstrong was being developed at Universal as part of a 2008 package deal that is bringing us the summer tent-pole picture Battleship this coming summer. The studio has already shot down films based on Ouija, Clue, Monopoly and Magic: The Gathering after trying to develop scripts that they liked. Hasbro now has the option to shop any of these properties to other studios.
Originally introduced onto store shelves in 1976, the Stretch Armstrong toy’s primary appeal was the fact that you could stretch his arms and legs and they would resume their original position. As a toy, the figure came with no real playability backstory, leaving the character a blank slate for moviemakers.