BREAKING… UPDATE… Another movie in Hasbro’s groundbreaking deal with Universal Pictures bites the dust. So has another Taylor Lautner project. If you recall, Universal was planning a slate of films based on Hasbro board games beginning with Battleship. Then, the studio put Ouija, Clue, Monopoly and Magic, The Gathering in turnaround. Now, it’s Stretch Armstrong, which Universal at first was determined to make but which now has been dropped and picked up by Relativity Media. The Universal version had Rob Letterman attached to direct and Taylor Lautner attached to star in a whopper of a deal to play the title character. But Deadline has learned that the Twilight Saga star is no longer attached. The Tay-Tay camp is claiming “it was our choice” to pull out of the film, but in fact a project insider told Deadline months ago right after Lautner’s Lionsgate film Abduction bombed that the studio was rethinking the project with Lautner as star but that Hasbro would make the final decision on the status of the project. Looks like that has happened. The Relativity release below makes no mention of Letterman either:
(Beverly Hills, Calif.) January 30, 2012 –Relativity Media has partnered with global branded play company Hasbro, Inc. [NASDAQ-HAS] to develop and produce a live-action tent-pole film based on Stretch Armstrong, the iconic action hero figure launched in the 1970s, it was announced today by Relativity’s Co-President, Tucker Tooley and Hasbro’s President and CEO, Brian Goldner.
Relativity will be the domestic distributor and will release the film internationally through its network of foreign output partners. The film is targeted for an April 11, 2014 release date.
The film will be produced by Relativity’s CEO, Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter), Hasbro’s Goldner (Transformers) and Bennett Schneir, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Motion Pictures (Battleship). Tooley (Immortals) will serve as executive producer.
Hasbro has become an entertainment powerhouse by creating hit movies and television shows from its rich portfolio of world class brands. Since 2007, Hasbro’s Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises have grossed nearly $3 billion at the worldwide box office. 2012 is shaping up to be another stellar year for Hasbro with its partners Universal Pictures releasing Battleship in April and Paramount Pictures releasing G.I. Joe: Retaliation in June. In television, Hasbro Studios produces shows like Transformers Prime and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic that can be seen on the HUB television network in the U.S. and in more than 140 countries globally.
“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,” said Tooley, “We look forward to bringing Stretch Armstrong to audiences worldwide.”
“Stretch Armstrong is a great example of Hasbro’s rich portfolio of intellectual properties that we are continuing to develop globally,” said Goldner, “We are excited to partner with Relativity on this movie as they are a growing and innovative studio.”
Stretch Armstrong is the classic action hero figure first launched by Hasbro in 1976 and re-launched in the 90’s, sold successfully throughout North America and in markets across the world. The original Stretch’s unique design broke free of traditional action figures, as he could be stretched over and over and always returned back to his original size. The nostalgic toy is considered to be rare and collectible to this day.
Relativity recently released Oscar®-winner Steven Soderbergh’s dynamic action-thriller Haywire in theatres. Looking ahead, Relativity will release the the heart-pounding Navy SEAL action-thriller Act of Valor (in theatres February 24, 2012) and magical adventure comedy Mirror Mirror (in theatres March 30, 2012), starring Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Nathan Lane, and Armie Hammer. The studio just wrapped production on the comedy 21 and Over and is currently in pre-production on Nicholas Sparks’ gripping love story Safe Haven and the international espionage thriller Hunter Killer.