All signs point to this month’s release of Barbie being a massive hit. It just seems to be the summer movie most people are talking about, and tracking on its opening weekend says it’s likely to beat the new Christopher Nolan movie — even before any reviews have come out. If Barbie is actually as good as we all hope it is, the sky’s the limit.
But Barbie isn’t the only film in the works from toy company Mattel. A new piece in the New Yorker explains that the company currently has 45 different films in development based on its toys. Out of those, the article says 13 have been revealed publically. We ran through the article and pulled the ones that are mentioned. Some of these will be made, many will not, but it gives you a good idea of all the potential Mattel has under its banner.
Director J.J. Abrams is attached to the project which doesn’t have a script but does have an idea that’s “emotional and grounded and gritty.”
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
No updates here beyond the 2021 news that Vin Diesel is attached.
Major Matt Mason
Oscar-winner Tom Hanks is attached to this astronaut toy adaptation which has a treatment from author Michael Chabon. “It’s prestige-y and asks really pointed questions about life and our place in the universe,” a Mattel executive said.
Masters of the Universe
Here we go again. Mattel is still trying to figure out a He-Man and the Masters of the Universe live-action film after many starts and stops. The latest filmmakers attached are Adam and Aaron Nee of The Lost City.
Magic 8 Ball
Cocaine Bear writer Jimmy Warden is working on a horror comedy based on the Magic 8 Ball, and Blumhouse is along for the ride.
No word on the status, but Girls creator Lena Dunham remains attached to an adaptation about the tiny dolls. Lily Collins is also attached.
Yes, the card game. Though there isn’t a story in place at the moment, writer Marcy Kelly was tasked with writing a heist-inspired adaptation which she set in the Atlanta hip-hop scene. Mattel passed but the general idea is still on the table.
Bob the Builder
The article also reveals that Marcy Kelly was part of a writers’ room trying to come up with a story for Bob the Builder, but no word on if that worked out.
Yes, another car adaptation in addition to Hot Wheels. This one is set up at Skydance (the company behind Mission: Impossible).
No word on who wrote it but the article describes a take on the popular dolls as “Booksmart meets Bill and Ted.”
Mattel recently got the rights back to Boglins and is interested in an adaptation. They want it to be “Gremlins with a twist” and several filmmakers have expressed interest.
The popular visual toy is one of the projects in development but, no word on how or what the take is.
In the article, a Mattel executive uses this toy, basically a fake fishing rod, to illustrate how random some of the takes get. A writer pitched a story about an “intense sports drama about this cheating scandal in competitive fishing” as a way to take a random story and add it to the IP. The context is it’s not happening but it was obviously discussed.