While Paramount has the next decade's worth of Transformers movies planned out, with another four sequels, an animated movie and a number of spinoffs coming our way between now and 2025, Mattel is still struggling to find a foothold in the feature film world. TrackingBoard brings word that this may change soon. According to their sources, Mattel has now teamed up with Spolipsist Film, and are planning to bring their fan-favorite property Dino-Riders to the big screen.
Dino-Riders is said to be Mattel's attempt at a Transformers-like franchise, and is being set up as direct competition. Alissa Phillis and Stephen L'Heureux are producing the movie for Spolipsist, with the film now in development. The toy launched as an animated adventure series in 1988, but only ran for one season. One problem as the movie moves forward, it clearly does not have the name recognition or popularity of Transformers.
You'll be forgiven if you're not familiar with the title. Dino-Riders follows a futuristic war. The Valorians are an evolved human race trying to save the galaxy from intergalactic warlord Krulos. His army of mixed-race alien species Rulons are out to destroy everything in their path. Attempting to escape a Rulon massacre, Questar, leader of the Valorians, causes a wormhole to open up, which sends them all back to prehistoric times. There, the war continues across an earth untouched by modern society. The Valorians use their psychic powers to speak to the dinosaurs. Together, Valorian and Dinosaur team-up to defeat the Rulons, who are using their own machinery to enslave the dinosaurs and use them in this never-ending fight. The cartoon show was set up to sell a line of Tyco toys, with Tyco now part of the Mattel family.
As you can see, the plot line is a little different from Transformers, while retaining some of its appeal. And dinosaurs seem to be all the rage this year, with Jurassic World resting as the highest grossing blockbuster of 2015. No writers are on board just yet, but they will have 14 episodes of the series to cull a story from. And it's expected that some new mythology will be established in this live-action version. With fewer fans around, there will surely be less blowback on any big decisions that are made regarding the plot line.
Dino-Riders is being set up as a family movie, so it may not contain the same raunchy humor that the Transformers films are known for. That said, it will be strong on action and adventure. The producers are currently seeking just the right scribes to take on the screenplay, but as of now, the project is not set up at a major studio. TrackingBoard calls Universal the perfect home, as they already distribute the home video adaptations for such Mattel properties as Barbie, Monster High and Hot Wheels. At the same time, they already have the Jurassic World franchise up and running, so it may not be in their best interest to have two Dino-centric series going at once. What do you think? Are you excited for a Dino-Riders movie? Or is this one 80s toy and animated series that is better left in the dustbins of history?