Mattel is hoping they can enjoy the same success Hasbro has by bringing their toys to the big screen. Just like Hasbro did with Transformers, Fast & Furious director Justin Lin is developing a Hot Wheels movie with his production company Perfect Storm Entertainment. The project is reportedly in the very early stages, but Lin is attached to direct the movie for Legendary Pictures.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news, also revealing that Justin Lin and his company Perfect Storm will have the option to co-finance the movie. The director and his partner Troy Craig Poon, along with Legendary, are reportedly searching for a writer to board the project and bring Hot Wheels to life. The report also notes that this project will not be Justin Lin's next directorial effort, as it is still very early in the development process. He is also attached to Space Jam 2, so perhaps that will wind up filling the gap.
This is not the first time a Hot Wheels movie has gained traction. Some version of a movie based on the Mattel line of toy cars has been in development since 2003, with McG at one point attached to direct for Columbia. The project then moved to Joel Silver who was working on the project for Warner Bros. Now, the property is with Legendary, who picked up the rights a few years back and had previously tapped Simon Crane to direct, but the project has been sitting since 2014. Now, it is Justin Lin who will have to try and find a worthwhile story to tell about tiny toy cars.
Even though there doesn't seem to be much of a story to tell with Hot Wheels inherently, that does allow the creative team a lot of freedom in the development process. That being the case, Justin Lin does seem to make quite a bit of sense. He has had an awful lot of experience taking on action-packed car movies, having directed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6. He also directed Star Trek Beyond this summer for Paramount, which didn't do exceedingly well at the box office, but was very well-liked by critics and fans.
Mattel has several other projects based on their popular toys in the works, with a live-action Barbie movie being developed, a Masters of the Universe reboot as well as /max-steel-movie-poster/Max Steel, which is based on their action figure line coming out October 14. There is no word yet on what Justin Lin has planned in terms of story for the Hot Wheels movie, but the toys are insanely popular, with Mattel claiming that they are the best-selling toys ever made. If they can somehow translate that long-term popularity to the big screen, Legendary Pictures may have a hit on their hands. Or maybe it will just be a big, dumb, expensive movie about cool looking toy cars.