Taylor Lautner drops out of "Stretch Armstrong" film

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - The big-screen adaptation of the flexible toy Stretch Armstrong will finally make its way to the big screen thanks to a new partnership between Hasbro and Relativity Media.

However, "Twilight" star Taylor Lautner will no longer be headlining the project due to scheduling conflicts, an individual with knowledge of the project confirmed to TheWrap.

A new cast will be announced shortly.

Lautner has stumbled in launching a post-"Twilight" career. The teen pin-up's recent bid for stardom, last fall's "Abduction," disappointed at the box office, grossing $82 million worldwide on a $35 million budget.

Lautner will next appear in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" and is in pre-production on "Incarceron."

"Stretch Armstrong" was originally in development at Universal, which was eyeing a 2012 release for the film. Lautner was on tap to earn a reported $7.5 million for the movie. He had cleared his dance card to fit the big-budget project into his schedule, dropping out of the superhero film "Max Steel" and the extreme flying story "Northern Lights."

Relativity will be the domestic distributor and will release the film internationally. The film is targeted for an April 11, 2014 release date.

The film will be produced by Relativity's CEO Ryan Kavanaugh ("The Fighter"), Hasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner ("Transformers") and Bennett Schneir, senior vice president and managing director, motion pictures ("Battleship"). Relativity Co-President Tucker Tooley ("Immortals") will serve as executive producer.

"Stretch Armstrong" will draw its inspiration from the action hero figure first launched by Hasbro in 1976 and re-launched in the 90's. The original "Stretch" could be stretched over and over and always returned back to his original size.


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