Universal Pictures has picked up an untitled Mattel toy property to develop a live-action musical film that will add a fresh twist to monster lore. The project will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, teaming with the Hairspray team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

According to Variety, Shaiman and Wittman are in talks to write an original score for the musical.

Mattel has become aggressive about developing its intellectual properties for film and TV, but this is the first time the toymaker has made a deal for a property it has yet to launch, or even publicly disclose. Mattel would not reveal the name of the toy line or when it will launch.

"This is a new step for us -- a real opportunity to launch a new intellectual property on multiple platforms," said Tim Kilpin, general manager for Mattel Brands' Girls, Boys & Games Group. "It has a broad family appeal and the ability to translate as a musical, (in) publishing and (to) other venues."

"Neil and I have been looking for an original movie musical franchise for several years, and we feel this one is it. "It really has long-term potential, and it will spin the monster genre on its ear," Zadan said.

No production date has been set.

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