Bad news for those looking forward to seeing Taylor Lautner as super bendy, slightly superheroic "Stretch Armstrong": He's officially out of the big-screen treatment of the popular '70s Hasbro toy.
MTV News confirmed Lautner's departure with a source close to the production. According toThe Wrap, Lautner had to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts. The "Twilight" heartthrob is reportedly set to begin work on an independent film withOscar-winner Gus Van Sant.
Relativity Media announced Monday (January 30) that it will take over production of the film from Universal. The studio has inked a distribution deal with Hasbro. The movie was originally slated to be released in 2012, but it will now hit theaters on April 11, 2014. A new cast is expected to be announced shortly.
When MTV News asked Lautner about "Stretch Armstrong" last year, he seemed excited to explore the unknown with "Armstrong," since the film version is a brand-new concept and not a reboot or sequel. He also admitted that the character's superpower — the ability to stretch one's body parts to extremes — is hardly super at all.
"It's like the worst superhero power, possibly, to get, and how you're going to take that and use it for good and how you're going to be creative with that [is the predicament]," Lautner said. "The awesome thing with toys is it doesn't give you a story line, so you get to create it."
Although no creative decisions have been made yet, "Muppets" and "Get Him To The Greek" screenwriter Nick Stoller was originally attached to write the script and has said the film would be an origin story similar to the tone set in "Iron Man."