Mattel Films Sets Ambitious Plans for Toy-Based Movie Franchises


Mattel Films, the film division of the renowned toy company Mattel, is gearing up to transform their vast collection of toys and brands into cinematic universes. While franchises like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Barney, and Polly Pocket are already in the works, one unexpected announcement has piqued the curiosity of fans and movie enthusiasts alike. It appears that the beloved fortune-telling toy, Magic 8 Ball, will be the focus of a horror-comedy film with an edgy twist.

Recently revealed in an exclusive report by the New Yorker, the Magic 8 Ball movie is being penned by Jimmy Warden, the screenwriter behind the highly anticipated movie “Cocaine Bear.” The approach taken for this unique project has sparked some debate behind the scenes, as it aims to walk a fine line between an adult-oriented rating and maintaining Mattel’s family-friendly image.

Producer and head of Mattel Films, Robbie Brenner, assures fans that while they won’t be venturing into the realm of R-rated movies, the Magic 8 Ball film will push boundaries without crossing them. Brenner stated, “We’re not going to make anything that feels violent or that is alienating to families…We want to stay within the parameters of what Mattel is.” This promises an intriguing mix of horror, comedy, and suspense, while still catering to a wide audience.

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For those unfamiliar with the Magic 8 Ball, it is a plastic toy that provides answers to yes-or-no questions. When shaken, the ball reveals messages such as “It is decidedly so,” “Ask again later,” or the ominously foreboding “Outlook not so good.” While specific plot details for the film remain under wraps, one can easily imagine a group of unsuspecting teenagers stumbling upon a cursed version of the toy. As they ask questions, chaos and mayhem ensue, with the Magic 8 Ball delivering chilling responses like “Don’t count on it.”

Mattel Films Sets Ambitious Plans for Toy-Based Movie Franchises

Before Mattel Films delves further into their vast array of toys, they are set to unveil their imaginative take on Barbie, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) and co-written with Oscar nominee Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”). This ambitious project features an all-star cast, with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling taking on the iconic roles of Barbie and Ken, respectively.

The story of Barbie follows Robbie’s version of the beloved doll as she faces expulsion from the utopian Barbieland due to her perceived imperfections, leading to an existential crisis. With Ken by her side, Barbie embarks on an adventure into the real world, discovering both the joys and perils of living among humans. The film boasts an impressive supporting cast, including America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, Ariana Greenblatt, Ana Cruz Kayne, Emma Mackey, Hari Nef, Alexandra Shipp, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa, Dua Lipa, and Helen Mirren.

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Excitement is building for the premiere of Barbie, scheduled for July 9, 2023, in Los Angeles, followed by a theatrical release on July 21, 2023. As Mattel Films continues to explore their toy catalog for potential movie franchises, fans can look forward to a diverse range of stories and experiences that will bring their favorite toys to life on the big screen.


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