A Slinky movie is in the works with Tamra Davis, the filmmaker behind the cult classic comedies Billy Madison and Half Baked. The movie is based on the true story behind the famous springy toy, which was created by Richard James, and the story will follow his wife, Betty James. After Richard left Betty and their six children with a nearly bankrupt company, Betty persevered and held her own "in an era dominated by male CEOs," working to turn the Slinky into a "must-have item for kids."
Tamra Davis will be in the director's chair, and Joanne Rubino will be producing under her Be Brave Media production banner. Chris Sivertson, Ann Carli, and Cristina Curbelo are penning the screenplay. Dino Ladki is executive producing, and is said to have been a big proponent for getting the movie made. Carli and Robyn Klein will also exec produce, and Marcus Englefield, George Lee of Storyoscopic Films, and Jeremy Ross are producing.
"I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to tell the story of Betty James; a female inventor, business woman and dedicated mother who with her husband Dick James invented the Slinky," Davis said in a statement. "When I read her story I was so inspired by the ups and downs of their rags to riches tale. I had no idea the iconic toy told the story of American innovation, domestic drama and the rise of the female executive. Betty James' life is a moment in American history where women proved they could not only survive in the face of despair but flourish when the opportunity presented itself. I immediately connected with Betty James. She was an intrepid woman who's goal in life was to create joy and make people happy."
"Tamra was an instant and instinctual choice for us to helm this film. She will elevate the storytelling to a new level with Betty James' point of view in the foreground and the iconic Slinky toy as the co-star," Rubino added.
Along with Billy Madison and Half Baked, Davis directed movies like Crossroads, Skipped Parts, and Best Men. More recently, she has been working in television, helming episodes of shows like Empire, Dead to Me, High School Musical: The Series, and Stargirl.
Of course, this won't be the first time we've seen a Slinky on the big screen. In the 1995 comedy sequel Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls, Jim Carrey's titular pet detective can be seen using the beloved toy in a particularly memorable moment. After sending the Slinky descending down hundreds of stairs, the toy stops with just one more step left to go. Meanwhile, the animated Toy Story movies feature a Slinky Dog character that was most recently seen in last year's Toy Story 4.
The toy can bring a lot of fun, but the time has apparently come for all of us to see the true story of the Slinky's creation brought to life on the big screen. A release date hasn't yet been named, but principal photography will reportedly begin in 2021. This news comes to us from Variety.