Get Him to the Greek arrives on DVD and Blu-ray September 28th, and to help launch the release, director Nick Stoller stopped by to chat about his latest comedy. He was also nice enough to take a few moments out of his time to talk about some of his other upcoming projects including The Muppets and the superhero flick Stretch Armstrong, which is based on the popular Hasbro doll from the late 70s and stars Taylor Lautner in the lead role. We learned quite a bit about this upcoming project from Nick, who was in the midst of working on the Stretch Armstrong screenplay as we chatted with him.
Here is our conversation:
I see that you're writing Stretch Armstrong. Is this something that is actually going to happen soon?
Nick Stoller: I have (the script) open on my computer right now. Rob Letterman is directing. And Taylor Lautner is starring. It's a big, action-type of superhero movie. It is outside of my genre wheelhouse, but it is really exciting to work on it. There are certainly comedic elements to it. But it is very much a superhero movie.
I'm assuming that you are around my age, and that you had a Stretch Armstrong doll when you were a kid?
Nick Stoller: No, I didn't have a Stretch Armstrong. But I had a friend that did.
This probably sounds stupid, but it so clearly sticks out in my mind. When I see the words Stretch Armstrong, I think of the rubber on this doll getting cracked and dirty, and this jelly oozing out of him. It was devastating when my mom threw the disgusting thing in the trash. That, too me, is Stretch Armstrong. Will we see that referenced in the film?
Nick Stoller: Yeah. I don't know if we'll see a mom throwing him in the trash. But I think that is a common thing that people have said to me. When you are a kid, you want to see how far Stretch Armstrong can stretch. I think part of this ties into Hasbro launching a new line of toys. This is not a toy that kids are familiar with now. So they are re-launching a whole line of crazy stretch toys to go along with the movie. Its fun to create a whole universe. There was nothing to the back-story, so it's exciting.
And you say its going to be a superhero movie?
Nick Stoller: Yeah. It's going to be a total superhero movie. There is nothing to base the story on. There were never any comic books, or anything. We've gotten to have complete creative freedom in terms of creating this universe. Which is kind of daunting, because Marvel has sixty or seventy years of stories to play with. It's also kind of great, because we're not beholden to anyone. We are not beholden to any stories. We are not beholden to something that started in 1960. We get to create this from the ground up, and make a very current, fun, superhero story.
With the old toys from the late 70s, they did have Stretch Monster, and the two Stretch Octopi, which all had that gross grape jelly in them, as opposed to the Kyro syrup that was in Stretch Armstrong. Are any of them going to be incorporated into the movie?
Nick Stoller: No. It's just Stretch. Stretch is a lot different now than he was in the late 70s.
What sort of nemesis is he going after in this movie if its not the green Stretch Monster?
Nick Stoller: I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say about it. I'm new to the world of not being able to talk about stories. I come from the world of comedy, where you can talk about what ever you want. But Stretch lives in a very grounded, real world. Our inspiration is as much The Dark Knight as it is the Bourne movies. His nemesis is a rogue element. Not to get to into it, but they are rogue soldiers. Those are his nemesis.
For years, DC Comics as tried to get Plastic Man off the ground as a feature film. Did you have to look at those comic books to ensure that you weren't heading down the same road as that iconic character?
Nick Stoller: No. This is quite different from anything else out there. Our fundamental story is a ways away from that. I am not worried about him being too close to Plastic Man or Mr. Fantastic from Fantastic Four. It's quite different. It's a lot more grounded in the real world, assuming that you had a guy who could stretch. What would that look like? He's not creating parachutes. It's a much-more grounded look.
You are also co-writing The Muppets. Where is that film in terms of production at this point?
What kind of scene did you guys write for Seth Rogen and Rowlf to star in together?
You worked with Sean Combs in Get Him To the Greek. He's appearing in the Joaquin Phoenix documentary this weekend called I'm Not Here. There's a lot of speculation about the authenticity of this film. Is it real or is it fake. Having worked with Sean Combs, what is your take on it? Is he acting? Or is this the real him?
Nick Stoller: I haven't seen the documentary. So I have no idea. I just now read a description about what that documentary is. Whether it is a mockumentary or a documentary? I couldn't tell you. I didn't even realize he was in that. Sean Combs has so many things going on, I was surprised that he was even in that movie.
Sean Combs certainly steals the show in Get Him to the Greek. Do you think we'll see him return with Aldos Snow in a third film? And if so, is Jonah Hill going to play a completely different character yet again?
Nick Stoller: We haven't talked about it yet. But never say never. And I think you are right. If we did do another Aldos Snow film, we would definitely have to have a third character for Jonah Hill to play.