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FROM HOLLYWOOD CRUSH: Just last week we marveled at the sheer number of projects "Twilight" star Taylor Lautner had in development, and perhaps he was starting to feel the pressure too. After dropping out of "Northern Lights" earlier this week, the 18-year-old has parted ways with another project, "Max Steel," based on the Mattel toy, reports New York magazine's Vulture blog.

Sources say it was his "Stretch Armstrong" collaboration with rival toy company Hasbro that was the impetus for Taylor's departure. According to Vulture, Taylor realized Hasbro was doing a better job with its movie properties than Mattel. To wit, the toy company has leveraged board games Candy Land, Battleship and Risk into high-profile projects and had earlier success with a couple small flicks called "G.I. Joe" and "Transformers." Added one source, "When you sign up to make a movie with Hasbro, you know it will be in theaters a year later."

Continue reading Taylor Lautner Drops Out Of 'Max Steel' For 'Stretch Armstrong'

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FROM MTV.COM: Team Jacob has reason to celebrate: "Twilight" star Taylor Lautner has signed on to star in "Stretch Armstrong," based on the action figure from Hasbro.

The Hollywood Reporter announced Lautner's commitment to "Armstrong," Universal's upcoming 3-D adaptation of the Hasbro toy property slated for release at some point in 2012. The film was initially scheduled for May 15, 2011, before Lautner's involvement.

"Stretch Armstrong" focuses on an uptight spy who inadvertently exposes himself to a formula that allows him to physically stretch his body to great lengths. With his newfound ability, the spy is forced to not only re-adjust to everyday life, but also to rethink his own crime-fighting tactics.

Continue reading Taylor Lautner To Star In 'Stretch Armstrong'

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Stretch ArmstrongFROM SPLASH PAGE: With its two marquis properties romping into theaters this year in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," Hasbro is already prepping its "Stretch Armstrong" film to follow in their footsteps. Written by "Bruce Almighty" scribe Steve Oedekerk and produced by Academy Award-winner Brian Grazer ("A Beautiful Mind"), the film, which is part of a broader partnership with Universal to get its classic toys into theaters -- and the live-action "Stretch Armstrong" looks to be leading the pack with a release date of April 15, 2009.

"'Stretch Armstrong' couldn't be in more capable hands than Imagine and Hasbro," Chairman of Universal Pictures Marc Shmuger said in a press release. "We're so excited to bring this iconic property to audiences around the world in April of 2011."

Continue reading 'Stretch Armstrong' Movie Gets 2011 Release Date

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Stretch ArmstrongWhen Hasbro and Universal struck a deal to turn toy and game properties into movies, I don't know that we ever thought it would go this far. "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe" made sense, as they had cartoons and comic books to make movies out of. Then came plans to turn board games like "Monopoly" and "Candyland" into movies -- plans that attracted talent like Ridley Scott. Now comes "Stretch Armstrong." According to Variety, Steve Oedekerk ("Bruce Almighty") has been hired to pen a script for a superhero comedy based on the stretchy, half-naked toy.

Surprisingly, this is not the first attempt to get Stretch Armstrong onto the big screen. In 1998, Disney attempted to make a Stretch movie starring Danny DeVito, and later tried to revive the character with Jackie Chan. Try not to contemplate how scary a stretching DeVito or Chan would be. Read More...

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