Mattel Inc. is reportedly in the process of setting up Mattel Films, a new division producing feature films based on its globally recognized franchises such as “Barbie,” “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” and “Hot Wheels”.
Sony Pictures was developing features based on both “Barbie” and “Masters of the Universe,” but their options have reportedly expired meaning Mattel Films will likely have to start from scratch on both projects.
“Dallas Buyers Club” producer Robbie Brenner will reportedly head up the division and report directly to Mattel’s new chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz. A low-budget film based on the “Max Steel” Mattel toyline was released in 2016 and bombed, grossing just $6.3 million.
Duke Nicholson, the grandson of acting legend Jack Nicholson, has joined the supporting cast of Jordan Peele’s thriller “Us” at Universal Pictures. He joins a cast that includes Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker. Peele will write and direct the film, whose storyline is under wraps, with the project aiming for a March 15th 2019 release.
Toy company Mattel has announced a massive slate of 22 animated and live-action TV projects for multi-platform distribution which they are currently developing based on their storied brands and franchises.
Adam Bonnett, a Disney Channel veteran, was recently hired as executive producer of Mattel Television and this announcement both follows in its wake and ahead of this year’s ‘Toy Fair’ which gets underway in New York today.
The shows will reportedly encompass a broad range of genres, including action-adventure, humor, game shows, music and others and will be designed for a range of audiences from babies and kids to tweens, teens and families. Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz says in a statement:
“With the proliferation of broadcasting and streaming platforms, there is a growing demand for high-quality content driven by global brands. Mattel is the owner of one of the strongest portfolios of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. We have countless opportunities to bring these brands to their fans through episodic programming that will capture the imaginations of kids and families worldwide. This marks another important step to capture the full value of our assets as we drive our transformation to become an IP-driven, high-performing toy company.”
Mattel owns such franchises as “Barbie,” “Hot Wheels” and “Masters of the Universe”. However they did not provide specific titles or brands that are being developed into series.
They did confirm a new live-action film based on their popular “An American Girl” brand is in the works at MGM. New Line previously adapted the property in 2008.