Not content to simply hand out gobs of cash at Sundance, Netflix is now expanding its line-up of shows aimed at children with a new series based on the toy Stretch Armstrong. Today the company announced that it has ordered 26 episodes of the show from Hasbro Studios — its first program with the toy manufacturer's production company arm — with a targeted release date of 2017. The show will be an "animated action/comedy series" about a teenager named Jake Armstrong. After Jake and his two pals are exposed to dangerous chemicals, they gain the ability to stretch to enormous lengths, and begin fighting crime as Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters.
If you're not familiar with Stretch Armstrong, here's the short explanation: it's pretty much the strangest, creepiest toy ever invented. First released in the 1970s, Stretch Armstrong was a blonde bodybuilder with a Speedo, but was filled with gel, allowing the toy to be stretched to insane lengths, and then snap back to original size. (Stop laughing; times were simpler then.) The toy was rethought and reintroduced at various times over the ensuing decades — that's a commercial for a Stretch Armstrong monster toy below — until in 2010 Hollywood reached the obvious conclusion: bizarre, stretchy toys should become movies.
Universal announced with great fanfare at the time that it was moving forward with a 3D Stretch Armstrong movie that was going to star Taylor Lautner. At the time, Twilight was still a thing, and everybody was convinced Lautner was going to be The Next Great American Action Hero. (Please enjoy his most recent work in Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six.) Obviously, that project never came to pass — although Universal did finish the other Hasbro Studios film it was working on at the time, Peter Berg's Battleship. Ahem.
In any case, an animated series is probably the best venue for a show about a person with incredible stretching powers. Just ask Josh Trank.