Hollywood is on the verge of introducing a Mattel Cinematic Universe after the monumental success of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie!
With Barbie blowing up the box office bigger than Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, the world-famous Mattel toy company is ready to push the button on launching a Mattel Cinematic Universe. Barbie’s success is a golden ticket for Mattel. The Greta-Gerwig-directed comedy, powered by feminism and the color pink, gives Mattel the confidence it needs to bring 14 of its iconic toy properties to the silver screen. While some may roll their eyes at the thought of a Magic 8 Ball or Polly Pocket movie, remember that Barbie is radically different than anything we could have anticipated. If Mattel applies that level of care and risk with its other properties, moviegoers could be in for something unique and entertaining.
While Gerwig says she’s putting Barbie back in the box to focus on other prospects, Mattel is open to making sequels for the blonde bombshell and her eclectic group of friends.
“Barbie, as a brand, has many different iterations. Barbie has a wide range of products. In addition to the main Barbie figure, she has family, she has a lot of elements around in her universe,” Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz told Variety. “It’s a very rich universe… It’s a very broad and very elastic brand, in terms of opportunities.”
“At the outset, we’re not saying, ‘Okay, let’s think already about movie two and three.’ Let’s get the first one right and make that a success,” Kreiz clarifies. “And if you do that, opportunities open up very quickly, once you establish the first movie as a successful representation of a franchise on the big screen.”
Mattel is actively developing an outrageous slate of adaptations based on its extensive and historic toy line, including a live-action Barney movie produced by Daniel Kaluuya, a Polly Pocket movie from writer/director Lena Dunham starring Emily in Paris actress Lily Collins, a Hot Wheels feature produced by JJ Abrams, and a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots film written by Ryan Engle and starring Vin Diesel. Other adaptations include projects based on American Girl, Magic 8 Ball, Masters of the Universe, Major Matt Mason starring Tom Hanks, UNO, Wishbone, Matchbox, Thomas & Friends, View Master, and Christmas Balloon.
While Mattel’s projects remain paused during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike, pieces are still moving around the board. Mattel may be ready to move forward with projects that are already in the works once negotiations are settled. Is
Barbie lightning in a bottle, or does Mattel have the potential to launch an MCU-style era of movies inspired by toys, board games, and more? Which of the above projects would you like to see most? Please let us know what you think in the comments below.