In a surprise move, Universal has cancelled their plans to distribute director Joe Carnahan’s comedy/thriller Stretch. The studio had originally planned to bring the film to theaters on March 21st.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, executive producer Jason Blum had been permitted to shop the film to other studios, but when he was unable to secure a new home for the picture, the rights reverted back to Universal. Reportedly, the studio and the filmmakers are now exploring more “creative” options for releasing the picture. The studio was reportedly balking at the $20- $40 million price tag for bringing the film to theaters.
I have to admit that I am a bit surprised. Stretch was made on roughly a $5 million budget and Carnahan has been on the receiving end of some positive critical notice for his last film The Grey while Blum is the producer behind the low-budget, big-box office Paranormal Activity and Insidious franchises. Blum’s Blumhouse production shingle produced last year’s hit The Purge for Universal, the first film in a first-look deal the producer signed with the studio in 2011.
Carnahan’s film centers on a stretch limo driver played by Patrick Wilson, who is employed by a billionaire played by a cameoing Chris Pine. The film also features appearances from Jessica Alba, Brooklyn Decker, Ed Helms and Ray Liotta.