There must be something about actor Taylor Lautner that makes studios want to "play" with him because the Twilight and New Moon star is now attached to headline two movies based on popular toys. Back in December, Lautner was announced as the lead in Paramount's adaptation of Mattel's Max Steel toy line about a teenaged extreme sports athlete who is granted superpowers by becoming infected by nanomachines. Now, Lautner has been revealed as the star of Universal's adaptation of Hasbro's Stretch Armstrong toy line.
Originally planned for an April 2011 release, Universal announced that Stretch Armstrong would be pushed back to March 2012 so that the movie can be shot in 3-D. In a statement released by Universal, co-chief Donna Langley cited Lautner's global bankability as a major factor in his selection for the role.
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.
Academy Award–winner Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind) is producing Stretch Armstrong with Hasbro's Brian Goldner and Bennet Schneir from a script by Steve Oedekerk (Evan Almighty). In a statement issued back in June 2009, Grazer expressed his enthusiasm for the project, but only hinted at what the plot might entail.
Stretch Armstrong is a character I have wanted to see on screen for a long time. He's an unconventional kind of super hero with a power that no one would want. It's a story about a guy stretching — if you will — the limits of what is possible to become all that he can be.
Friday's Universal announcement also included a release date for director Jon Favreau's Cowboys and Aliens of July 29, 2011.