It was back in the summer of last year that we told you that Universal was planning a Stretch Armstrong movie, just one of many toy-based adaptations that are in the works. President and CEO of Hasbro, Brian Goldner, recently talked about the movie's "plot" without giving away too much (read: anything at all) - "Stretching as a superpower brings a lot of humor to the idea so imagine a big humorous super-powered, super-human kind of movie."
One of the big questions when it comes to a movie like this is who is going to play the main character? With Stretch Armstrong, you'd think it would be some huge, intimidating guy with golden hair and chiseled features (i.e. just like the toy). Well, you'd be wrong, as news has just recently hit that New Moon star Taylor Lautner is going to be stretching it up on the big-screen... in 3D no less.
The news first broke at Deadline Hollywood before going on to be reported by other places like The Hollywood Reporter. So needless to say, this isn't just some rumor created by a Twilight fan who has a penchant for ripped abs - Lautner has been officially cast in the role of Stretch Armstrong proving that status and fame is more important than acting ability. Here's what Universal co-chairman, Donna Langley, had to say about the rising star and his casting as Stretch Armstrong:
“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."
Since Lautner only had a small role to play in the first Twilight, they're really only going on his expanded role in New Moon and how teenage girls everywhere swooned over him taking his shirt off every chance he could get... But nonetheless he has big things ahead of him including roles in the potential franchise Max Steel and the action films Northen Lights and Cancun. And let's not forget he's starring in two more of the Twilight movies, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. It looks like while Robert Pattenson and Kristin Stewart are going the indie route outside of the Twilight franchise, Lautner is going strictly mainstream.
There aren't a lot of details on what the plot of Stretch Armstrong will be, other than it features, "an uptight spy who stumbles across a stretching formula, which he takes and must now adjust to in everyday life and when fighting crime." Somehow I can't get that nightclub dancing scene in Fantastic Four 2 out of my head when thinking about what this Stretch Armstrong movie will be like. It has serious potential to stretch the boundaries (see what I did there?) of what is considered good fun before it becomes completely ridiculous and stupid.
As stated, in an unsurprising but nonetheless groan-worthy piece of news, Stretch Armstrong will be done in stereoscopic 3D. That means everything I hate about 3D - i.e. things coming out of the screen at you for no reason - will be in full effect here. In order to accommodate the 3D, the movie is being pushed back from its original May 15th, 2011 date to sometime in 2012. On a related note, another Hasbro toy-based movie, Battleship, has been pushed back from its original date of August 5th, 2011, to Memorial Day weekend (May 5th) in 2012.
The script being used for Stretch Armstrong is still the one written by Steve Oedekerk (Bruce Almighty, Kung Pow: Enter the Fist) and it's still being produced by Brian Grazer (American Gangster, The Da Vinci Code). On the directing front the last we heard Ron Howard may be in line to helm the film but there's no word on whether that's the case or not.
So there you have it: the wolf boy from the hugely successful New Moon is going to be our Stretch Armstrong. I really want to give it a chance and believe that this film can be something that's a lot of campy fun for the whole family. But something tells me that ain't gonna' be the case. This is just one in a long line of stupid and unnecessary toys-turned-movies. Boy, I wish they'd leave my toy box alone!
What do you think of Taylor Lautner being cast as Stretch Armstrong? Is he right for the role or are they just choosing him to piggyback off the success of the whole Twilight craze? Do you agree with me about all these toy-based movies?
As stated, Stretch Armstrong will now hit theaters sometime in 2012. Stay tuned for exactly when.