An R-rated action comedy entitled Stretch from writer/director Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team, The Grey) had been on Universal Pictures upcoming release schedule, but less than two months away from its proposed March 21st release date, there still hasn’t been any marketing – now we know why. Universal has dropped the $5 million film from their roster as studio executives don’t believe that pumping money into a marketing campaign (which could cost anywhere from $20 million to $40 million) is economically feasible for a film that producers are describing as “cool, offbeat and little.”
In the film, Patrick Wilson plays a chauffeur who picks up a difficult and devious billionaire, played by Chris Pine. As the night goes on, their interaction leads to dangerous encounters. The film also stars Jessica Alba, Brooklyn Decker, Ed Helms and Ray Liotta.
Stretch comes from Blumhouse Productions who’ve had massive success with low-budget horror movies like Paranormal Activity and The Purge, but Stretch is a tougher sell without the luxury to rely on a built-in horror moviegoing audience. Carnahan and producer Jason Blum have been shopping the film around to other studios in the hopes to secure a wide release, but as of now they haven’t found another distributor.
Director Joe Carnahan took to his Twitter page, posting a series of tweets defending the film:
Guys. Bottom line. STRETCH is f*cking great. It’s funny. It’s touching. It’s unique and @patrickwilson73 is absolutely brilliant in it.
I can talk shit & argue with that idiotic @THR story but brass tacks, that movie works & you will all be fast fans of it when you see it.
I think it’s as good or better than my best film & say that from the bottom of my heart. This movie will make it to you, trust me.
Guys, the movie is gonna find its audience & that audience will love it. Whether that happens now or later is irrelevant. It’s gonna happen.
Guys. Rest assured. You will all see STRETCH, on the big screen, in 2014.
While the studio’s lack of faith in the project is troubling, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Stretch is a bad movie – it may just lack the wide appeal that Universal was hoping for. While the future of the film is yet unknown, we could either be in for a bad-ass cult-classic too awesome for the masses or a disaster which Universal Pictures deemed unreleasable. We shall see.