Universal taps writer and director for Taylor Lautner pic

Universal Pictures has set firm 2012 plans for its pair of toychest-themed pics, as well as kidpic “The Lorax.”

Studio has skedded Hasbro toy-based titles: “Stretch Armstrong,” which will be in 3D, and a 2D take on “Battleship.”

“Stretch,” which is being set up as a Taylor Lautner starring vehicle, took a big step forward Tuesday as Universal tapped Nick Stoller to rewrite and Rob Letterman to helm.

The project, whose plot details are being kept under wraps, will mark a reteaming of Letterman and Stoller, who penned the Letterman-helmed comedy “Gulliver’s Travels.” Steve Oedekerk wrote the original screenplay of “Stretch,” which is based on Hasbro’s enduring action figure.

Film is being produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer alongside Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir for Hasbro. Kim Roth is executive producing for Imagine.

Letterman’s helming credits include “Monsters vs. Aliens.”

Peter Cramer and Maradith Frenkel are overseeing “Stretch” for the studio.

“The Lorax,” based on the classic Dr. Seuss book, rounds out Universal’s 2012 slate of titles announced to date.

Stoller is represented by UTA.

Letterman is handled by WME.

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