It looks like the "I love you, you love me" mantra of Barney the big purple dinosaur isn't gone from the spotlight after all. It's been quite a while since the children's character has been a regular on TV screens, but he's now making the leap to a theater near you. Yes, you read that correctly, there is a feature-length Barney the Dinosaur movie in the works. Mattel announced on Friday morning that it had partnered with Daniel Kaluuya's 59% production banner to deliver the live-action film to audiences everywhere.
Mattel will co-produce Barney with Kaluuya and 59%'s Rowan Riley and Amandla Crichlow, along with Valparaiso's David Carrico, Adam Paulsen, and Bobby Hoppey. Kevin McKeon will oversee the project for Mattel.
“Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to Barney that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations,” said Robbie Brenner of Mattel Films. “The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids.”
The inclusion of Kaluuya in this project may come as a surprise, given the mature and intense roles he's become known for over the past couple of years. The actor received an Academy Award nomination for his breakout role in 2017's Get Out, and followed that success with a terrifying turn in Widows, an appearance in Black Panther, and a lead part in the upcoming Queen & Slim. Still, Kaluuya was clearly impacted by Barney at a young age, and he's looking forward to bringing that joy to others.
“Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood,” said Kaluuya and 59% in a statement. “We’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.”
“Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination, and we can’t wait to get ‘I love you, you love me’ stuck in heads everywhere, yet again,” added David Carrico of Valparaiso Pictures.
There is no word yet when the film is looking to into production or which studio will end up distributing it.
Are you looking forward to a feature Barney movie? Let us know in the comments!