He’s already Hollywood’s highest paid teen. Pretty soon, he may also be Hollywood’s richest teen. He’s certainly Hollywood’s hardest working teen. Universal has just cast the 17-year-old Twilight Saga star Taylor Lautner to play title character Stretch Armstrong based on the Hasbro toy. The studio is giving Stretch superhero powers in the new 3D franchise that is scheduled for release in 2012. Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman Donna Langley think Lautner is “the real deal” and are undaunted by all the other projects which Taylor also is launching, including the Max Steel franchise at Paramount and the 3rd and 4th installments of the Twilight Saga for Summit Entertainment, and other films.
“In the past two years, Taylor has emerged as a real star at the global box office. He brings the perfect balance of energy and athleticism to the role of an unlikely super hero with a fantastic super power,” said Langley. “We couldn’t be more pleased that he has agreed to be our Stretch.”
Agreed Brian Goldner, President and CEO of Hasbro: “The addition of Taylor Lautner and the 3-D twist to Stretch Armstrong is sure to pay dividends when the film is released in 2012.”
The studio said Stretch Armstrong is moving to 2012 “to allot time to shape the project into a 3-D superhero adventure and to accommodate Lautner’s existing commitments”. Stretch Armstrong is based on the action figure popular around the world dating back to the 1970s and re-launched in the 1990s. Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, 8 Mile, American Gangster) will team with Hasbro to produce. Steve Oedekerk (Bruce Almighty) has written the screenplay, and Hasbro’s Goldner and Schneir also produce.