In 2015, Paramount and Hasbro announced an ambitious plan to collaborate in the creation of a cinematic shared universe, which would build upon their two existing ‘G.I. Joe’ movies with films based on ‘M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand)’, ‘Micronauts’, ‘ROM: Space Knight’ and ‘Visionaires’. Conspicuously missing was the already successful ‘Transformers’ line of films, but since this announcement, that franchise has faltered and this winter’s ‘Bumblebee’ might be the last we see of the ‘Robots in Disguise’ before Paramount reboots the line from scratch. Since 2015, however, none of the announced movies has materialized. In fact, other than ‘Transformers’, the only movie based on a Hasbro toy property to be released was ‘Jem & The Holograms’ which was one of the most miserable failures in modern box office history. Hasbro has, however, announced plans to bring their recent acquisition, ‘Power Rangers’ back to the big screen, so that’s something.
Despite the lack of output from this deal, fellow toy giant Mattel also wants to get into the cinematic game, with its own studio, Mattel Films, with Academy Award-nominated producer Robbie Brenner in charge, reporting directly to Mattel’s chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz.
“Mattel is home to one of the world’s greatest portfolios of beloved franchises, and the creation of Mattel Films will allow us to unlock significant value across our IP. Robbie is a gifted storyteller and a highly respected filmmaker with deep relationships in entertainment. She is the perfect leader to bring our celebrated brands to life.”
“Generations of children around the world have grown up with deep emotional connections to Mattel’s brands and characters. There are so many stories to be told and so many imaginations to be captured by these iconic brands, and I look forward to working with Ynon and his team to do so.”
Mattel’s most famous brands are Barbie and Hot Wheels. Their other properties include American Girls, Fisher Price, Imaginext, Mega Bloks, Monster High, Polly Pockets and Thomas & Friends. Though it isn’t an active brand, they also retain Masters of the Universe, an ’80s toy line that Hollywood keeps threatening to turn into a modern live action movie.
As for Brenner, she produced the Academy Award nominated ‘Dallas Buyers Club’. Unfortunately, the majority of her movies have been failures at the box office, including ‘Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem’, ‘Immortals’, ‘Mirror Mirror’, ‘Safe Haven’ and ‘Earth to Echo’ to name a few.
But at the very least, should any movies get made by Mattel Films, it’s highly unlikely that they will do as poorly as ‘Jem & The Holograms’.
Are there any Mattel properties you want to see made into movies?