Mattel Has 45 Toy-Based Movies In Development

We're still a few weeks out from the premiere of the Barbie movie, but the project is already poised to be a cultural phenomenon. Barbie will draw inspiration from the iconic toy line of the same name, which is now owned by Mattel — but it is far from the last movie to draw from the company's catalogue of toys. The New Yorker recently took a deep dive into Mattel's movie strategy — and revealed just how many adaptations they are currently developing. According to their reporting, there are a total of 45 Mattel-related movies in the works, including (but not limited to) Barney, Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket, and He-Man.

Their reporting stresses that some of these films will be a little bit self-aware, including a Tom Hanks-led Major Matt Mason movie, which plays off of the toy inspiring his protagonist from the Toy Story movies, Buzz Lightyear. Other projects that have been announced to be in development over the years include American Girl, Big Jim, Chatty Cathy and Betsy Wetsy, Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, Thomas & Friends, Uno, View-Master, and Wishbone.


Will There Be a Barney Movie?

One of the most unconventional entries on this Mattel list is Barney, which will be produced by Get Out and Nope star Daniel Kaluuya. According to Mattel Films executive Kevin McKeon, that Barney film will be a bit more adult-oriented and have an "A24-type" quality.

"We're leaning into the millennial angst of the property rather than fine-tuning this for kids," McKeon said. "It's really a play for adults. Not that it's R-rated, but it'll focus on some of the trials and tribulations of being thirtysomething, growing up with Barney — just the level of disenchantment within the generation."

What Is the Barbie Movie About?

In Barbie, after being expelled from Barbieland for being a less-than-perfect doll, Barbie sets off to the real world to find true happiness. Barbie will be directed by Greta Gerwig, with a script from Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. Robbie, who had been rumored to be attached to the project since 2018, will also be producing the project through her LuckyChap banner.

"Playing with Barbie promotes confidence, curiosity and communication throughout a child's journey to self-discovery," Robbie previously said in a press release. "Over the brand's almost 60 years, Barbie has empowered kids to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president."

"Barbie is one of the most iconic franchises in the world and we are excited to partner with Warner Bros. Pictures and Margot Robbie to bring her to life on the big screen," Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO of Mattel, wrote when the project took shape. "We look forward to building on this collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures as we tell the stories of our beloved brands. Mattel Films is on a path to demonstrate the enormous potential of our brand portfolio, as we continue to execute on our strategy of transforming Mattel into an IP-driven, high performing toy company."

What do you think of Mattel having so many toy-related movies in the works? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!