Toy company Mattel is getting into the movie making business. The enduring and popular producer of things that kids love has officially announced that they are launching Mattel Films. After years of trying to get movies made based on their various properties with other studios, only to have them stall out, the company has decided to take matters into their own hands. Now there is a much better chance we'll see movies based on Barbie, Hot Wheels, Masters of the Universe and more actually come to fruition.
The decision comes as the rights that Sony held to both the Barbie and Masters of the Universe properties had expired earlier this year. The studio had been developing movies based on both, but with Barbie delayed until 2020 by Sony and with He-Man not getting his due, Mattel had enough. Now, they are in control of their destiny in a much more meaningful way moving forward. They've brought Dallas Buyers Club producer Robbie Brenner on board to oversee Mattel Films. Ynon Kreiz, Mattel's new chairman and CEO, had this to say about the move.
"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."
Robbie Brenner is quite accomplished. Dallas Buyers Club earned Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey Oscars and the movie also scored a Best Picture nomination. Her movie Burden was also a big hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Brenner served as president of production at Relativity Media, ran the classics division at Davis Entertainment, and held senior vice president roles at 20th Century Fox and Miramax. Brenner had this to say about her new gig with Mattel.
"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."
This approach is similar to what Hasbro did by launching Allspark Pictures and partnering up with Paramount. To date, the Transformers movies have made $4.4 billion worldwide and they have other projects such as Dungeons and Dragons and Mask and more in the pipeline. Even LEGO has several movies under its belt, with The LEGO Movie 2 hitting theaters next year. Mattel is, or at least was, behind the ball. Now they have a chance to play a serious game of catch-up.
It's quite likely that the projects being developed by Sony will be scrapped. Mattel is probably going to pursue their own versions of movies based on their properties and will look to partner with a major studio to bring them to reality. As for the studio? That remains to be seen. This news was previously reported by Variety.