You may not know what The Beastlies are now, but J.J. Abrams and Mattel are about to put the adorable little creatures on the map. Abrams' Bad Robot and Mattel announced their partnership today to bring sculptor Leslie Levings' creature creations to life. The project goes back to 2010 when Abrams walked into the comic book shop that Levings was working in and spotted her Beastlie sculptors for sale. J.J. Abrams has been a fan ever since and the two met to talk about the possibility of one day working together.
J.J. Abrams calls the The Beastlies a "passion project" and revealed that it's been in the works for a number of years now. The director also revealed how excited he was to be working with Mattel and Leslie Levings. He had this to say.
"The Beastlies is a passion project we have been working on at Bad Robot for years with the creator of these extraordinary creatures, Leslie Levings. To finally bring The Beastlies to the world, in collaboration with the brilliant minds at Mattel, is an absolute dream."
Though Abrams is excited, he really didn't explain what exactly the new franchise will be all about. However, we will find out soon enough now that Mattel is involved.
Leslie Levings started creating The Beastlies years ago and was shocked to learn that J.J. Abrams was a fan of her work. As previously mentioned, Abrams walked into the comic shop where she worked with his son and noticed The Beastlies right away, but Levings was not working that day. She didn't think anything of her new fan but was taken aback when Abrams reached out to her to have a meeting at Bad Robot to discuss a partnership. The Beastlies are an "ongoing line of small but expressive monsters," according to Leslie Levings.
Mattel president Richard Dickson recalled meeting J.J. Abrams on the set of The Force Awakens when the director brought up The Beastlies. The two later met and Abrams showed off some of the expressive creatures and pitched the idea to Dickson. He explains.
"He presented this character concept he believed is aesthetically inspiring and creative, and then we got together the character drawings and creative conversations and that brought us to the point where we could reveal the partnership and concept. The combination of J.J. and Bad Robot's content creator powerhouse abilities and Mattel's global marketing and branding abilities seemed a strong match for an amazing collaborative effort."
The Beastlies are about to get a lot more expressive in the near future. Though it's a franchise, it isn't clear which will come first, the TV show or a movie.
The Beastlies are going to be taking over the world pretty soon and one can instantly see the potential that J.J. Abrams saw in Leslie Levings' creations. The little adorable monsters are now going to be mass produced as opposed to hand-made by Levings, although she still plans to make them in her spare time. You can read the whole announcement of the Bad Robot, Leslie Levings, and Mattel partnership over at Deadline.