MGM and Mattel are joining forces to create a feature film based on the toymaker's storied American Girl doll brand.
This is just one of several film and TV projects announced recently by Mattel, as they are trying to take Hollywood by storm and shore up their own failing fortunes in the toy market.
The American Girl brand is no stranger to show business, with several direct-to-DVD and TV movies made between 2005 and 2015. They also partnered with Project Runway for an episode that centered around an American Girl store.
Like Barbie -- another Mattel property, which found a home at Warner Bros. recently with star and producer Margot Robbie -- American Girl is a brand with a lot of goodwill and some movies and TV specials kids have seen at home...but it has never had a movie that is just based on the property in its most basic form.
The last time American Girl made its way to theaters was when Kit Kitteredge: An American Girl was released by New Line in 2008.
In contrast to Barbie, which has a pretty minimal sense of backstory, American Girl toys often come with a much more complete sense of who the doll is supposed to be as a person.
Besides Barbie, other Mattel brands set up for feature films include Masters of the Universe at Sony and Hot Wheels at Warner Bros.
Earlier today, the company revealed that it was developing 22 multi-platform TV series. While Mattel did not disclose what titles or brands it currently has in development, they will cover a wide array of genres such as humor, game shows, music, action adventure and more. The shows will be developed with multi-platform distribution in mind and a mix of animated shows and live-action for various age groups.
The Hollywood Reporter, who were the first to reveal MGM's deal for American Girl, says that it is not yet clear whether the movie will center on the story of just one doll or several. One assumes that there is also the possibility that they do something more like what LEGO and Duplo are doing with their movies, going a little meta and providing more space for a broader cross section of the product line to take center stage.
Per the original story,
Mattel Films, MGM and PictureStart’s Erik Feig will produce the live-action project. Cassidy Lange will oversee for MGM, and Robbie Brenner will oversee for Mattel.
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