After Barbie’s big success, here are 16 movies Mattel is making to launch their Mattel Cinematic Universe

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After Barbie’s big success, here are 16 movies Mattel is making to launch their Mattel Cinematic Universe

Barbie, the doll once considered a must-have for a girl growing up, is back, and how! Mattel, Barbie’s parent company, has hit the jackpot with the Greta Gerwig film that was released against Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. While some may say that this was a 2-hour ad for the doll, audiences around the world have accepted it wholeheartedly. Ever since Barbie got in the big numbers, there has been much conversation around the sequel, and while Greta has said that she has nothing for the sequel, one can assume that the machinery at Warner Bros is already working on it.

After Barbie, Mattel plans to start their Mattel Cinematic Universe by turning many of their toys into IPs for movies. As per Variety, the wheels are already in motion. The publication reported that multiple films are already in active development, which includes Hot Wheels, one of the most popular toys in the world, and Uno. This card game is played globally.

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After Barbie’s enormous success, here are 16 movies Mattel is making to launch their Mattel Cinematic Universe

1. Hot Wheels

Produced by JJ Abrams, this movie based on the popular toy car will feature ‘three-dimensional’ characters that have ‘emotional journeys’, as per Robbie Brenner, who runs Mattel Films. Previously, Abrams, known for films like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and creating TV shows like Lost and Fringe, described the film as ‘grounded and gritty’ to The New Yorker. Warner Bros is backing the film.

2. Barney

Mattel Films has described the film as ‘surrealistic’, ‘A24-type’, and something resembling ‘Being John Malkovich’ but also specified that they aren’t making a stoner comedy like ‘Ted’. Actor Daniel Kaluuya is the producer of this film and has been associated with it since 2019, and as per The New Yorker, the project is in active development even now. Barney, the purple dinosaur, was a popular 1990s television program, and now Mattel is betting on making it a movie with more adult themes.

3. Polly Pocket

Written and directed by Lena Dunham of Girls fame and starring Lily Collins of Emily in Paris fame, the film is developing at MGM. Brenner described this as a ‘great’ script and mentioned that Lena and Lily are great collaborating partners but added that they ‘will be making that at some point in the future’, implying that this isn’t their current top priority.

4. Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots

The game, created in the 1960s, is ready for a movie adaptation, and Mattel has scored big with its casting, as they already have Vin Diesel on board for this one. The script is still in development.

5. Major Matt Mason

Tom Hanks is set to star in the film playing the astronaut action figure who lives on the moon. Tom has previously voiced Toy Story’s Woody, probably one of Pixar’s most loved characters ever created. And it seems like this one will draw some comparisons with Buzz Lightyear. Hanks first got associated with the project in 2011, but as of 2019, he was still attached to the project, with Paramount Pictures making the movie.

6. Uno

Not much is known about the popular card game turning into a movie. It’s anyone’s guess if the cards will come to life in this one and take over the world, or we’ll be in the card world dealing with their politics of colour. All that is known now is that Marcy Kelly is writing the movie. Kelly previously told The New Yorker that the Uno movie was supposed to be a heist film initially, but it’s anyone’s guess what they are making now.

7. Thomas & Friends

The animated train series that’s loved worldwide will be turned into a movie by Marc Forster. The much-loved television series has seen many movie iterations, but this one will be a feature-length production released in theatres. The film was first announced in 2020.

8. American Girl

Another doll movie by Mattel, this one is said to be a family comedy. While Mattel has stayed tight-lipped about what’s in store here, Brenner said they have ‘something great in the works’.

9. Magic 8 Ball

This one will not be R-rated, but Brenner told The New Yorker it ‘walks the line a little bit’. Cocaine Bear screenwriter Jimmy Warden is writing a horror comedy based on the toy.

10. Masters of the Universe

Previously, Netflix was attached to the project, but as per Variety, Mattel is looking for a new partner. $30 million has already been pumped into the movie on the development stage as Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz believes this can be ‘as big as Marvel and DC’. Adam and Aaron Nee, who directed Sandra Bullock starrer The Lost City, are associated with the project.

11. Wishbone

The television series following the adventures of a dog had a small moment in the 1990s, but Mattel is now developing this into a movie with Peter Farrelly as the producer.

12. Matchbox

Another toy car franchise aside from Hot Wheels, Mattel is developing an action movie with this one with writer David Coggeshall. The film was first announced in 2022.

13. Christmas Balloon

This one’s not based on a toy but on a true story of when Mattel donated toys to a young girl as she tied her Christmas list to a balloon that landed in the hands of a couple that worked at Mattel. Chris Lemos is producing the project.

14. View Master

View Master has been around since the 1930s, and now MGM backs the movie with Mattel. The film was first announced in 2019, but there hasn’t been any announcement about a writer, director or actor attached to the project.

15. Chatty Cathy and Betsy Wetsy

As per a Variety report in 2022, Jason Bateman’s Aggregate Films is working on a film based on Chatty Cathy and Betsy Wetsy dolls.

16. Big Jim

A movie based on the popular 1970s action figure is in the making, with writer-director Dan Mazer attached to the project.

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