Universal Drops Joe Carnahan’s STRETCH; No Theatrical Release Scheduled at the Moment [Updated with Carnahan's Comments]

     January 21, 2014


Universal Pictures has nixed plans to release Joe Carnahan’s comedy-thriller Stretch on its scheduled March 21st release date.  Although it made our “Most Anticipated” list for the first quarter of 2014, no replacement date is currently set up.  It’s a bit of an odd move, especially for the normally successful production banner of Jason Blum, Blumhouse Productions, which specializes in turning low-budget pictures into big box office returns.  Universal allowed Blum to shop the picture to other distributors, but when a deal couldn’t be reached, the rights reverted back to the studio, which is now “exploring creative options” for release.  Hit the jump for more.

[Update: We've updated the article with comments on the situation from Carnahan himself.]

joe-carnahan-stretch[Update: Carnahan took to Twitter last night to comment on the status of the film:

Guys. Bottom line. STRETCH is fucking 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.

Our original story follows below.]

THR reports that Stretch is currently in a state of flux.  In the film, Patrick Wilson plays a chauffeur who picks up a difficult and devious billionaire, played in a cameo by Chris Pine. As the night goes on, their interaction leads to increasingly dangerous encounters.  Jessica Alba, Brooklyn DeckerEd Helms and Ray Liotta also appear in the film.  Pine recently talked about his scene, one that (jokingly) could end his career.  With commentary like that, it’d be a shame to never be able to see the performance played out on the big screen.

According to the report, Blum’s model of churning out high earners on low budgets may have actually backfired this time around.  ”A source says that Universal executives concluded it would be unwise to spend the $20 million to $40 million that it would take to release Stretch theatrically,” because these types of films don’t necessarily need a wide release to be financially successful.  Hopefully Blum, Carnahan and Universal can figure out some way to bring Stretch to audiences, whether it’s through on-demand digital releases, on-demand theatrical screenings through services like Tugg.com, or even crowd-funded distribution through sites like Kickstarter.  Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!

jason blum stretch

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  • Scratch89


  • Nicky Cage

    I was actually wondering about this movie a few hours ago.

  • Dunno

    Universal Pictures – it’s stupid fucking bitches.

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  • Sweet Pea

    Through Kickstarter!!?? And so it begins… Studios get films to a state of readiness, and then ask us to pay for it to be release, then pay again to watch it. Crazy.

    • Solgazer

      That is a horribly likely truth and makes me feel a little bit sick to my stomach.

  • mattinacan

    it’s probably not very good like the rest of his filmography. I mean, The Grey, Smokin Aces, A Team – these are terrible movies.

    • The Flobbit

      The Grey is a haunting, visceral, and brilliantly acted action movie that looks at the nature of death, loneliness, and perseverance, while offering great cinematography, a haunting score, and an electrifying performance from Liam Neeson.

      In short, one of the best movies nobody saw last year.

      • Batt Damon
      • Solgazer

        Totally and completely agree with you. I also thought the A-Team was a brilliant attempt at bringing something bat shit crazy from T.V. to the big screen but in no universe can you say that The Grey was not a good film. It is a brilliant movie with more soul than almost anything else out there.

      • mattinacan

        The Grey and all its CGI wolves and bad marketing is a terrible film.

      • The Flobbit

        CGI wolves is a budget problem. Can’t see what’s wrong with that – they had a smaller budget (what do ya want them to do, use German shepherds?). Can’t say what you mean about bad marketing. The trailers were fantastic, I even downloaded them to my computer.

      • mattinacan

        the marketing was a disgrace. the trailers made it look like an action film in the wilderness, and gave away the big final wolf fight, which carnahan ended up cutting because the cgi was so bad.

      • The Flobbit

        Again, I disagree. The trailers portrayed a focused and dramatic thriller, which it was, and showing the final wolf fight is Carnahan’s business. Anyways, the film was a financial and critical success, so I’d say the marketing did pretty good, and the CGI didn’t matter.

      • The Flobbit

        Again, I disagree. The trailers portrayed a focused and dramatic thriller, which it was, and showing the final wolf fight is Carnahan’s business. Anyways, the film was a financial and critical success, so I’d say the marketing did pretty good, and the CGI didn’t matter.

  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    WTF – really? Well that just sucks because Carnahan’s films are always good if not entertaining (A-Team wasn’t great but at least fun to watch). The Grey and Narc are both underrated films that really show that Carnahan works the best w smaller budgets. I hope they resolve this w out compromising the film’s tone.

  • The Flobbit

    What the hell? It has Chris Pine and Ed Helms and Jessica Alba behind it. How can it fail? Boo to you, Universal.

  • Solgazer

    J.C. is the man. It’s unfortunate but he seems to have the kind of luck that Terry Gilliam carries around with him.

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