Taylor Lautner Ditches ‘Max Steel’ For Stretch Armstrong

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 16th, 2013 at 12:19 am,

Stretch Armstrong movie Taylor Lautner Taylor Lautner Ditches Max Steel For Stretch Armstrong

After his role in the first two Twilight movies, teen heartthrob Taylor Lautner has been in demand with studios and filmmakers in every direction. With the ever increasing number of projects the now 18 year old actor (female Twilighters rejoice!) is attached to, it was almost inevitable that he couldn’t appear in every single one of them. And today we get news of that very thing happening with one of his fairly major potential projects.

Lautner has been attached to two toy-based projects for a while now, the first being Max Steel, which is based on the doll by toy-maker Mattel, and the second being the recently announced Stretch Armstrong, based on the toy by Mattel’s rival Hasbro. Max Steel was set to be up first for Lautner but now we learn he has dropped out of that project in favor of something with a little more… stretch to it.

The battle of Mattel versus Hasbro for one of the most sought-after young actors in the business has seen the latter company come out on top. But how and why? Well, Vulture has all the in-depth details on what went down – but let us break it down as simply as possible right here:

Early last December a report was written over at Deadline which hailed Lautner as “Paramount’s Next Big Action Star” shortly after the actor locked down the Max Steel deal. Former chairman of Revolution Studios, Joe Roth, was set to produce the film which is about “an orphan exposed to nano-technology [who] becomes imbued with superhero powers.”

Taylor Lautner Max Steel 570x351 Taylor Lautner Ditches Max Steel For Stretch Armstrong

However, just over a week later Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner was extremely impressed by Lautner’s performance hosting Saturday Night Live (and Goldner just happens to be a corporate client at Lautner’s agency, WME Entertainment). Goldner then contacted WME’s top agents about casting Lautner in Stretch Armstrong and as we all know Lautner was cast at the start of this month as the live-action version of the popular stretchy action figure.

How it came about that Lautner has dropped out of Steel for Stretch is interesting: Shortly after signing on to play Max Steel Lautner apparently noticed Hasbro was getting its act together a lot quicker than Mattel was. Hasbro-based projects at various different studios were, and still are, moving ahead really quickly – including Candy Land (with a script written by Tropic Thunder‘s Etan Cohen and Enchanted director, Kevin Lima, already in place for release in 2011); Peter Berg’s Battleship is already well on the way and due for release in 2012; a Risk movie is in development at Columbia Pictures with Will Smith and James Lassiter producing; and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer fast-tracking Stretch Armstrong for a 2012 release.

And that doesn’t even cover the obvious success of both Transformers and G.I. Joe

But Hasbro’s rival Mattel hasn’t been anywhere near as pro-active with its projects – not due to production problems but seemingly by choice. Before announcing Max Steel, Universal said it was making a movie based on another of Mattel’s toys, the astronaut action-figure from the sixties called Major Matt Mason, with Tom Hanks in line to star. But ever since that was talked about last March nothing has really happened with it.

Vulture points us to earlier news over at LA Times that Monsters vs. Aliens director, Rob Letterman, is in talks to helm Stretch Armstrong. And apparently by the time those talks started a few weeks ago, Lautner had already decided to opt out of Max Steel.

Was it smart for Lautner to choose the more well known toy-based product in Stretch Armstrong than the lesser known (at least in the major market of the US) Max Steel? I’d say so, even though Stretch isn’t a toy I think can work on the big screen without it being overly silly in a way that only appeals to kids (which is a real possibility considering it’s based on a kids toy). It goes without saying Lautner is popular right now, both with Twilighters worldwide and studios and filmmakers in Hollywood. He can basically pick and choose which roles he takes and you can’t blame him for going with the tried and tested Hasbro-based project, now can you?

Amusing bonus info: Lautner was at the American International Toy Fair industry convention in New York last Tuesday and he was seen and photographed extensively playing around with Hasbro’s new Nerf Raid Blaster in the company’s hospitality suite while at the same event Mattel was debuting its Taylor Lautner doll based on his Twilight character, Jacob Black. Ouch!

What do you think of Lautner dropping out of Max Steel for Stretch Armstrong? Smart move on his part?

Stretch Armstrong is set to be released (in 3D) sometime in 2012, with Max Steel set to hit sometime in 2011. We’ll let you know when they find a replacement for Lautner for the latter.

Sources: Vulture, LA Times and RamaScreen (for Lautner/Max Steel image)

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TAGS: max steel, Stretch Armstrong

12 Comments

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  1. Max Steele was at least fun, and actually pretty cool. Stretch Armstrong, not so much. Other than the stupidity of the toy itself, I can remember the crappy commercials.To be fair, none of the male leads have had movie roles since Twilight came out (apart from Michael Sheen, but if any Twihards are specifically fans for him then they're probably a tiny minority). K-Stew, while certainly garnering the majority of attention, is not universally adored by the fanbase (there's a not-insignificant segment who don't appreciate that she doesn't appear to share their enthusiasm for the series), while Anna Kendrick and Ashley Greene are liked but aren't a focus.

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  2. Max Steele has a back story, and with a decent screen writer could be a solo hit for Lautner outside of Twilight. Stretch Armstrong would require some extraordinarily talented screen writers. It may not be career suicide, but the authorities should be looking out, because it's pretty close to it. Like I said before Lautner could become a break-out star beyond Twilight, with this he is in danger of being in the same position some of the HSM kids (outside of Zac Efron) are in. Straight to video movies and lame Disney Channel shows until their too old to appeal to the next generation of kids…..

  3. Ashley Greene is already doing work outside of Twilight. She is hotter than words can describe. Anyway, I think the co-stars of Twilight may end up being the ones who have more of a successful career because they are not the main focus of the Twilight/New Moon sensation…….

  4. YAWN….. other than preteen girls, does anybody even care? This is a bad career move on his choice. Just so they can remake those stretchy dolls with his face on it to make a buck…… Honestly, I can't name one person who even is excited about this becoming a movie, or who even look forward to seeing it. Isn't this the kid who was Sharkboy? There are no girls in his fan base that were even born when Armstrong was a toy, so it may not be career suicide, but will definitely be left out on the resume…….

  5. Well I guess that he can't do both because it would be a conflict of interest? But Ryan Reynolds will be Deadpool and Green Lantern. He looks a lot more like Max Steel and the blonde hair thing will look uh, no offense to anybody but kinda gay on him or even Jessica Alba-ish sans Fantastic Four. I think he should have stuck with Max Steel, it's looks like more a potential franchise, I don't see Stretch Arm “stretching” itself out far enough to become it's own franchise. Max Steel was a serious character and going this “Stretch Armstrong” rout WILL be silly and in a very cheap and cheesy way. I think he made a mistake, if takes a little longer to get the right role, just wait a little longer. What is he in such a big hurry,he's in big time debt already,does he owe the gay Maffia or something? I guess that would explain why they want him to do “Stretch Armstrong”,look at the toy, it's practically naked plus the implications of a man being able to stretch himself.

  6. Max Steel wasn't that popular really, but certainly would make a better movie than Stretch Armstrong… Also I just realized Lautner looks just like the Max Steel doll haha but it was still a smart move on his part. Hasbro's got their stuff together and they're obviously doing something right so good pick on Mr. Lautner's part.

  7. Well I guess that he can't do both because it would be a conflict of interest? But Ryan Reynolds will be Deadpool and Green Lantern. He looks a lot more like Max Steel and the blonde hair thing will look uh, no offense to anybody but kinda gay on him or even Jessica Alba-ish sans Fantastic Four. I think he should have stuck with Max Steel, it's looks like more a potential franchise, I don't see Stretch Arm “stretching” itself out far enough to become it's own franchise. Max Steel was a serious character and going this “Stretch Armstrong” rout WILL be silly and in a very cheap and cheesy way. I think he made a mistake, if takes a little longer to get the right role, just wait a little longer. What is he in such a big hurry,he's in big time debt already,does he owe the gay Maffia or something? I guess that would explain why they want him to do “Stretch Armstrong”,look at the toy, it's practically naked plus the implications of a man being able to stretch himself.

  8. Max Steel wasn't that popular really, but certainly would make a better movie than Stretch Armstrong… Also I just realized Lautner looks just like the Max Steel doll haha but it was still a smart move on his part. Hasbro's got their stuff together and they're obviously doing something right so good pick on Mr. Lautner's part.

  9. why is he doing this?

  10. I'm still in shock that they are even making a Stretch Armstrong movie. I had one when I was a kid, and even then I thought it was a pretty lame toy. I'm just thinking it's gonna be a pretty lame movie….I hope I'm wrong. Just my two and a half cents.

  11. I'm still in shock that they are even making a Stretch Armstrong movie. I had one when I was a kid, and even then I thought it was a pretty lame toy. I'm just thinking it's gonna be a pretty lame movie….I hope I'm wrong. Just my two and a half cents.

  12. I want more Max Steel action figure and vehicle toys for Christmas 2013.

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