Hot Wheels Movie Reportedly Seeking Directors After Barbie's Success

After the Barbie movie's billion-dollar box officer, Warner Bros. is looking at Hot Wheels to be its next Mattel movie.

Barbie's box office success has the gears turning at Warner Bros. when it comes to movies based on Mattel toys. Reportedly Hot Wheels is the next brand getting fast-tracked by WB and Mattel, with the latest news being that the studios is already seeking directors for the Hot Wheels movie, event while the search for writers and a cast is indefinitely delayed by the Hollywood Writers and Actors Strike. 

A featured article over on Heat Vision digs into the Barbie movie's billion-dollar success – and just why it will be very hard for Warner Bros. to replicate in a sequel, let alone an entire franchise universe. Buried in that analysis of the film and the industry surrounding it is this piece of new information: 

Warner Bros. is still trying to move along with another Mattel project: Hot Wheels. Sources tell THR that the studio is out to directors for a movie based on the toy racing cars, despite the project not yet having a script. Producers are hoping to keep up the project's momentum in spite of the industry halting strike by meeting with directors, sources say. (The DGA ratified a new contract with the AMPTP in June, allowing directors to continue their dealmaking with studios.) 

J.J. Abrams's Bad Robot Productions is developing this Hot Wheels Movie, which has been described as  "emotional and grounded and gritty". At an investors meeting over the summer, Abrams teased what he felt was a good blockbuster movie take on Hot Wheels: 

"For a long time, we were talking to Mattel about Hot Wheels, and we couldn't quite find the thing that clicked, that made it worthy of what Hot Wheels — that title — deserved," Abrams said in a video presentation (via New Yorker). "Then we came up with something . . .  emotional and grounded and gritty."

Dalton Leeb and Nicholas Jacobson-Larson (Endurance) were reportedly hired to write a script for Hot Wheels early this year; obviously, any script they were working on is on pause right now, during the Writers Guild of America Strike. Of course, Hot Wheels has been teased as a feature film for years (decades?) now, so what's a little more delay, right? 

"We are excited to bring the thrill of a Hot Wheels live-action feature film to the big screen in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures," Ynon Kreiz, Mattel's chairman and CEO, said when announcing the live-action Hot Wheels movie in 2019. "Mattel Films has great momentum as it continues to execute on our commitment to bring global audiences new ways to experience the brands they love as we transform Mattel into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company."

Hot Wheels is in development at Mattel and Warner Bros.