Daniel Kaluuya to Star in Adult-Oriented ‘Barney’ Movie: A Surrealistic Twist on the Beloved Purple Dinosaur

barney movie daniel kaluuya

Daniel Kaluuya is set to produce and star in an adult-oriented Barney film for Mattel Films. This revelation came from Kevin McKeon, an executive at Mattel Films, during an interview with The New Yorker. McKeon shared that the upcoming project will take a daring and unconventional approach to the beloved children’s character, positioning it as an “A24-type” film with a surrealistic tone reminiscent of the works of Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze.

The decision to steer the Barney film towards an adult audience is a deliberate choice by Mattel Films to tap into what they describe as “millennial angst.” Rather than tailoring the story for young viewers, the film will delve into the trials and tribulations of being a thirty-something and growing up alongside Barney. It aims to explore the sense of disenchantment within this generation, capturing the complexities and challenges faced by adults in the modern world.

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“This isn’t a film fine-tuned for kids,” explained McKeon. “It’s a play for adults. It won’t be R-rated, but it will focus on the realities and struggles of adulthood, while reflecting on the level of disillusionment experienced by this generation.”

The creative direction taken for the Barney film highlights Mattel’s commitment to making art that resonates with a broader and more mature audience. Daniel Kaluuya, who became attached to the project in 2019, emphasized his dedication to maintaining high standards as both an actor and a producer. This commitment to excellence suggests that the Barney film will be an ambitious and thought-provoking endeavor.

While the adult-oriented Barney film is certainly an exciting development, it is not the only project centered around the lovable purple dinosaur. Mattel is also working on a new animated series featuring Barney, set to be released in 2024. This expansion into different mediums and a more mature exploration of Barney’s world follows a similar approach taken for the forthcoming Barbie film, directed by Greta Gerwig. The Barbie movie takes a left-of-center approach, offering a fresh and unexpected take on the iconic doll. Its trailer paid homage to films like “2001: A Space Odyssey,” indicating a departure from the conventional Barbie narrative. The film follows Barbie (played by Margot Robbie) and Ken (portrayed by Ryan Gosling) as they embark on a journey of self-discovery, leaving Barbie Land for the real world.

The decision to reimagine beloved characters through a more adult lens reflects a growing trend in filmmaking, pushing boundaries and challenging traditional storytelling norms. As fans eagerly anticipate the release of the Barbie film in July, the prospects for the adult-oriented Barney film are equally intriguing.

With the combined talents of Daniel Kaluuya and Mattel Films behind it, audiences can expect a surreal and captivating exploration of Barney’s world. As the development of the film progresses, it remains to be seen how this fresh take on the beloved character will resonate with viewers. One thing is certain: this Barney film promises to be an artistic and unique cinematic experience that will leave a lasting impression.



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