MCU doesn’t stand for just Marvel Cinematic Universe but now Mattel Cinematic Universe.
After experiencing a period of declining toy sales, Mattel, the iconic toy company, made a strategic move in 2018 by appointing businessman Ynon Kreiz as its new CEO. Kreiz had a vision to transform Mattel into an IP-driven powerhouse, laying the foundation for a cinematic universe centered around the company’s beloved children’s toys. Now, with the unexpected box office win from “Barbie,” Mattel has a series of toy brands turned movie projects with A-list collaborators.
With an extensive list of children’s toys slated for adaptation, Mattel currently has 14 properties in active development, including “Barney,” “Polly Pocket,” “Thomas and Friends,” and “American Girl.”
“Barbie,” directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie, has already achieved extraordinary box office success, grossing over $380 million worldwide in just its first five days in theaters. This feat has cracked the door for potential “Barbie” sequels and has bolstered Mattel’s ambition to create a world of cinematic franchises.
Speaking to Variety, Mattel executives expressed their excitement about the opportunities that “Barbie” has brought and their plans for future projects. Ynon Kreiz emphasized the richness and flexibility of the Barbie brand, stating that successful films can lead to more movies and pave the way for film franchises.
Producer Robbie Brenner, who runs Mattel Films, shared that their goal is to get the first movie right, laying the groundwork for potential sequels and franchises. The success of “Barbie” has indeed given Mattel the momentum to forge ahead with their cinematic endeavors.
Here are the 14 toy brands Mattel is currently working on turning into films.
Producer: Daniel Kaluuya
Description: The iconic purple dinosaur will inspire a live-action film with surrealistic elements, exploring themes of identity and belonging.
Star: Lily Collins
Writer/Director: Lena Dunham
Description: The “Emily In Paris” star will portray the micro-doll in a family comedy directed and written by Lena Dunham.
Studio: Warner Bros.
Producer: JJ Abrams
Description: The top-selling toy in the world will come to life in a grounded and gritty film, featuring cars, monster trucks, and motorcycles.
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
Star: Vin Diesel
Writer: Ryan Engle
Description: Vin Diesel will lead the feature based on the tabletop game of battling robots.
Description: A family comedy based on the popular doll franchise is currently in development.
Magic 8 Ball
Description: The film adaptation of the Magic 8 Ball will likely be a PG-13 thriller.
Masters of the Universe
Description: A potential action-adventure flick centered around the superhero He-Man is in development, aiming to become a mega-franchise.
Major Matt Mason
Star: Tom Hanks
Writer: Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon
Description: Tom Hanks will star as the Mattel astronaut action figure from the 1960s, living and working on the moon.
Writer: Marcy Kelly
Description: The popular card game will make its way to the big screen.
Producer: Peter Farrelly
Description: The literary Jack Russell terrier from the ’90s PBS series will feature in a family-friendly adventure comedy produced by Peter Farrelly.
Writer: David Coggeshall
Description: An action-packed film based on the legendary toy cars.
Thomas & Friends
Director: Marc Forster
Description: A fantasy film inspired by the beloved children’s animated train series.
Description: An adventure film based on the classic picture viewer toy from 1939.
Writer: Gabby Lugo
Producer: Chris Lemos
Description: A heartwarming family drama based on a true story where Mattel donated toys to fulfill a young girl’s Christmas wishes.