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Universal Drops Chris Pine’s ‘Stretch’ Less Than Two Months Before Release

Stretch movie
Universal Pictures

‘Strech’, the new action-thriller starring Chris Pine, Jessica Alba and Patrick Wilson, was scheduled to be released in just two months (on March 21), but now it won’t be released at all. Universal Pictures abruptly pulled the plug on the film at the last minute after they balked at the $20-40 million needed to properly promote the film. If you know ‘Stretch’ director Joe Carnahan at all, you know he wasn’t happy.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal gave the rights to producer Jason Blum (‘The Purge‘) and allowed him to shop the project to rival studios. The film was unable to find a new home, which means the rights revert back to Universal, and, as we saw above, they have no plans on releasing the film.

So, does that mean that ‘Stretch’ will never see the light of day. No, but it’s unclear whether it will ever get a theatrical release. A THR source says that Universal, Blum and Carnahan are looking at “creative” ways to release the film, but none would confirm that it would ever hit theaters.

The outspoken Carnahan took to his Twitter feed to call the report “idiotic” and to defend his low-budget film.

‘Stretch’, which also stars Brooklyn Decker, Ed Helms and Ray Liotta, follows a chauffeur (Wilson) who picks up a difficult and devious billionaire (Pine). As the night goes on, their interaction leads to dangerous encounters.

We wouldn’t be surprised if the film makes an appearance at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival and, if it’s as good as Carnahan says, allows itself to generate some positive buzz for a new distributor. There’s a home for this movie somewhere, it just needs to find one. If not, it’ll likely be released direct-to-VOD, while Universal writes the relatively small $5 million budget off as a loss.

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