Mattel, the toy company behind the popular children’s franchise Barney, is developing a movie based on the beloved purple dinosaur. However, the movie is not going to be what audiences expect. Barney first premiered on PBS in 1992 and quickly became a symbol in the world of children and family television. While the original show ended in 2010, there were still specials, videos, and reruns available to keep the brand alive. Let’s take a dive into the announcement of the upcoming Barney movie.
Barney Movie Announcement
In 2018, Mattel announced that they were working on a Barney movie with actor Daniel Kaluuya’s production company. Executive producer Kevin McKeon previously hinted that the movie would tackle adult conflicts and appeal to a more mature audience. Now, Mattel’s Robbie Brenner has confirmed that the movie will explore themes of identity and alienation, aiming to be unique and slightly off-kilter. Brenner mentioned movies like “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation” as inspirations for the project.
Brenner also clarified that the movie will not be dark, but rather a distinct and unconventional take on the character. The goal is to create something unexpected, unlike the straightforward comedy of films like “Ted.” Mattel wants to push the boundaries and create a Barney movie that appeals to a more adult audience.
In addition to Barney, Mattel is also looking to bring other popular toy franchises to the big screen. Barbie has already seen success and there are plans to expand the universe. Polly Pocket, Hot Wheels, American Girls, Magic 8 Ball, UNO, Matchbox, and View Master are among the other franchises that will be adapted into movies. Vin Diesel is set to star in a movie based on Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, while Masters of the Universe recently faced a setback when its Netflix project was canceled. However, Mattel is still looking for new opportunities to develop stories based on the beloved brand.
Overall, Mattel is seeking to reimagine and expand its popular toy franchises on the big screen, and the upcoming Barney movie is just one example of their plans to appeal to a more mature audience and explore different themes.