Hasbro saw dollar signs after Transformers, and they’ve gotten greedy. It’s one thing to take toy robots and convert them into movie stars, but projects like Monopoly and Ouija Board sounded too ridiculous (and non-cinematic) to make the transition. First, Universal backed out of a new Clue, then the Ouija Board movie, then Monopoly and now they’re getting out of another project born from their toymaker partnership.
According to Deadline Deltino, Stretch Armstrong is dead at Universal. The project, like the flour-filled rubber toy, would have starred Taylor Lautner with Rob Letterman set to direct. Speculating on the reasons is futile and a waste of the time we could all spend celebrating. Universal may be regretting that major Hasbro deal now, but they’re wising up to the shifting needs of an audience that wants story and not plastic.
The project isn’t completely done, though. It’s found a home over at Relativity Media – which is sort of sad considering the risk-taking that studio has done in the past few years. This, of course, is a risk of a different kind. It’s a formula that only appears to work these days. It’s a project that has all the elements for success, but doesn’t pass the smell test in the first place. The new press release from Relativity also doesn’t include anything about Lautner or Letterman. Looks like they’re officially done with Stretch as well. If only everyone were.
Hopefully this doesn’t hurt the chances of a Happy Fun Ball movie. That thing doesn’t like being taunted.