Rumor: Ron Howard Directing the Stretch Armstrong Movie?!
Say it ain't so! Back in February, Universal announced that they were making a movie based on the action figure Stretch Armstrong. Sure, Transformers is based on a toy as well, but a Stretch Armstrong movie, come on?! Evan Almighty writer Steve Oedekerk had been hired to work on the script, but that's all we knew. Then just last week, Brian Grazer was announced as the producer, which meant this wasn't just a throwaway project. While browsing through BusinessWeek, our friends over at IESB noticed that they specifically say that Oscar winning Frost/Nixon director Ron Howard will be directing it. Really?!
Here's the quote from the BusinessWire piece "With Transformers, Hasbro Morphs Its Toy-Movie Model":
There's more on the way. Hasbro has a movie based on its G.I. Joe toy line coming out on Aug. 7. The company has an April 2011 release for a movie version of its Stretch Armstrong figure, to be directed by Ron Howard. That is part of a six-picture deal the company has with Universal Studios (GE), which included a movie version of Monopoly. Meanwhile, archrival Mattel (MAT) is working on movie versions of Hot Wheels and Major Matt Mason.
While this could, sadly, be true, I think BusinessWeek was just jumping to conclusions. You see, Brian Grazer is a big producer who works with Ron Howard (and Ridley Scott) a lot. I think the magazine assumed that since Grazer was on-board and since Scott was already making Robin Hood, they thought that his attachment meant Ron Howard was directing as well. It was a safe bet, but it doesn't make any sense. Unless, of course, this Stretch Armstrong movie really is very well written and better than any of us ever thought it would be. But could Steve Oedekerk really put together a script like that? I highly doubt it.