'Armstong' eyes April 2014 release
While Universal continues to empty its box of toy-based movies, putting “Stretch Armstrong” into turnaround, Hasbro has found a new home for the action figure-based pic at Relativity Media, which has dated the family actioner for April 11, 2014.Taylor Lautner is no longer attached to the film that he came on board to topline when the project was first announced in 2010. At the time, U had planned to release the film in March. Relativity is also on the hunt for a helmer to tackle the project. Relativity topper Ryan Kavanaugh, Hasbro’s president-CEO Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir, senior VP and managing director, will produce the pic. Relativity’s co-president Tucker Tooley will exec produce. Company will be the domestic distributor and will release the film internationally through its network of foreign output partners. “Stretch” is the latest pic U has unloaded as part of its deal with Hasbro, after giving up plans to produce films based on the “Ouija,” “Clue” and “Monopoly” board games. However, U has “Battleship” out in April, and “Candyland” still in development. After the success of “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe,” both produced with Paramount, Hasbro has been eager to get its other toy franchises up on the bigscreen. Successful films have proved helpful not only at selling more toys at retail but also promoting shows Hasbro airs on its kidvid cabler the Hub. Goldner has stressed the company is not interested in following in Marvel’s footsteps and financing its own slate of films. “Stretch Armstrong is a great example of Hasbro’s rich portfolio of intellectual properties that we are continuing to develop glob ally,” Goldner said. “We are excited to partner with Relativity on this movie as they are a growing and innovative studio.” Relativity, which recently released “Immortals” and “Haywire,” and has “Act of Valor” and Snow White comedy “Mirror Mirror” out next, is looking for potential franchises, and sees “Stretch” as a possibility. “We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Hasbro, a company whose global reach and ability to innovate has made them immensely successful in the arena of brand reimagination — as evidenced by their legacy of creating such franchises as ‘Transformers’ and ‘G.I. Joe,’ ” said Tooley. As Hasbro works with Paramount to develop a fourth “Transformers,” the toymaker is still looking for studio partners for “Ouija,” “Clue” and “Monopoly,” the latter of which still has Ridley Scott attached. Paramount has “Micronauts,” with J.J. Abrams attached to produce, while Sony has “Risk.” Stretch Armstrong was launched by Hasbro in 1976 and relaunched in the ’90s as a toy that can be stretched repeatedly and always returned to his original size.