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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 25, 2010

'Stretch Armstrong' up next for Isle-born director


By Wayne Harada

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Rob Letterman, the local boy who directed the 3-D animated hit "Monsters vs. Aliens" and the Christmas season live-action 3-D adventure "Gulliver's Travels," will be at the helm of Universal's "Stretch Armstrong," a kid-pic in 3-D, based on the Hasbro toy. The film, due in 2012, will have boffo box office appeal the titular character will be played by filmdom's latest hunk, Taylor Lautner, whose sizzling appeal (and pecs) outshines his "Twilight" co-star Robert Pattinson. ...

Director Letterman, born in Hawai'i, attended Mid-Pacific Institute and the University of Southern California, and has earlier credits ("Shrek," "A Shark's Tale"). "Stretch" and "Gulliver's" (with Jack Black, Catherine Tate, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt) should further elevate his star. ...

FILM LOOPS: Actor Alex O'Loughlin, now on the big screen as Jennifer Lopez's co-star in "The Back-up Plan," has been on a blitz of TV promotional appearances, including the "Today" show, but there's been nary a mention that he's also the new Steve McGarrett in the CBS reboot/pilot of "Hawaii Five-0," already wrapped here. And O'Loughlin, an Aussie actor who's kind of a hunk, is flying solo so far. "Statistically, marriages don't work," he said, and he's not involved in a relationship. ...

Since Kaui Hart Hemmings' book "The Descendants" mentions that the George Clooney character and his family members don Reyn Spooner shirts, the Alexander Payne-directed film, in production here, had its wardrobe stylists, Wendy Chuck and Michelle Braff, huddling with Reyn's at Ala Moana Center to select styles and prints of shirts, T-shirts and swim trunks for the movie. But privacy policies prevent the clothier from revealing precisely what aloha wear will be in the flick. You gotta wait till the film is released, in 2011. ...

And fans of Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, coming our way for June filming of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," might wait for the June 30 release of a "Pirates" video game, "Armada of the Damned," from Disney Interactive Studios. ...

TRADE WINDS: Royal Records, an Arizona-based company hand- ling the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Stevie Wonder, is hosting a music bash Saturday night at the Sheraton Waikiki's Hanohano Room, to showcase new artists, including local boy Afatia Thompson, who will be joining the label's R&B stable. Thompson has been on the radar for several months, recording his Island-style sound for a national audience. ...

Afatia's niece, Mokihana Tufono, 5 (daughter of his sister, Misty Tufono), will be May Day queen for her kindergarten class at Kupono school. Which makes kupuna Cha Thompson mighty proud. ...

SKYPERS: It's not the ideal way to rehearse, but distance and schedules simply mean that until "Wheel of Fortune's" Pat Sajak arrives here in early June, he and KHON2 anchor Joe Moore are practicing for their two-man show, "The Boys in Autumn," via Skype. "The Skype picture's a little herky-jerky, but the real challenge of our long-distance rehearsing is the six-hour time difference between my home on the East Coast and Joe in Hawai'i," Sajak said. The pair play Huck Finn (Moore) and Tom Sawyer (Sajak) as adults, reuniting 50 years after parting as boyhood chums, in a Hawai'i Theatre benefit June 24 through 27. Tickets: 528-0506 or www.hawaiitheatre.com. ...

And that's Show Biz. ...