Want to see more toy-based movies like Greta Gerwig’s Barbie? Well, you’re in for a treat. With the Barbie movie set to release on July 21, Mattel has announced a slew of projects based on its popular toys. Enter a plethora of new movies based on Barney, Hot Wheels and other childhood favourites.
It’s the best day ever! The Barbie press tour has officially begun 💖 pic.twitter.com/WqKKTOULsL
— Barbie Movie (@barbiethemovie) June 25, 2023
According to a New Yorker report, the toy company is planning to produce… wait for it… a whopping 45 movies based on its popular products. These will include childhood favourites such as Barney, Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket and He-Man, among others. The report emphasises that some of these films will have a certain level of self-awareness, which is quite similar to the Barbie movie’s approach. For example, there is a Major Matt Mason movie in the works featuring Tom Hanks in the lead. This makes for a truly inspired casting choice since it cleverly draws inspiration from the Toy Story franchise which saw Hanks essay the role of Woody. Not to mention, it also refers to Buzz Lightyear, the space ranger toy and one of the film’s main protagonists.
A ‘Barney the Dinosaur’ movie has already been greenlit
A Barney the Dinosaur movie, which will be a live-action adaptation of the popular children’s TV show, has already been greenlit. Daniel Kaluuya, who will feature in the lead, will also be donning the producer’s hat with this film. Kevin McKeon, who is an executive at Mattel Films, also revealed that the film will feature an interesting twist in terms of its tone.
Kaluuya is known for his roles in critically acclaimed films such as Get Out, Nope and Judas and the Black Messiah, the last of which fetched him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Fred Hampton.
During his interview with The New Yorker, McKeon described the upcoming Barney movie as an A24-type surrealistic film. He also drew comparisons to the directing styles of Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze. He mentioned that instead of tailoring the film specifically for children, the plot will revolve around millennial angst. He added,
We’re leaning into the millennial angst of the property rather than fine-tuning this for kids. It’s really a play for adults. Not that it’s R-rated, but it’ll focus on some of the trials and tribulations of being 30-something, growing up with Barney—just the level of disenchantment within the generation.
What other Mattel movies are on the cards?
One of the many ongoing projects of Mattel is the highly-anticipated Hot Wheels movie, which is being headed by J.J. Abrams. It was reported that the team had been brainstorming to find the right concept for the film, one that represented the essence of the Hot Wheels cars. According to reports, they have now arrived at an idea that is “emotional, grounded and gritty.”
Unfortunately, the screenplay has not been finalised yet, so it looks like fans will have to wait for a while for an official update on the Hot Wheels movie.
Over the years, several other Mattel movie projects have been announced as being in development, including movies based on American Girl, Big Jim, Chatty Cathy, Betsy Wetsy, Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Thomas & Friends, Uno, View-Master and Wishbone.
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(Hero and feature image credits: Courtesy IMDb/Barbie Movie)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: According to media reports, Mattel has lined up 45 movie projects similar to Barbie that will also be based on childhood toys. These include movies on Barney the Dinosaur and Hot Wheels.